Bydgoszcz, Poland, June 4, 2018 – Poland's women’s team are back home and ready to take on opponents from Argentina, Belgium and Germany. The first of their two home tournaments will take place in Bydgoszcz and before the action starts tomorrow, coaches and captains met with the media to share their thoughts and expectations for the matches this week.
Argentina coach Guillermo Orduna said: "Poland is a great country with an important role in the history of volleyball. It is very good to be here, the organisation level is the best. At this moment we have a young team, with a few experienced players. What is important for team Argentina is our tactics, serves and reception for the side-out system. Apart from that we would like to improve our block and defence and work on our counter-attack."
Argentina captain Julieta Lazcano said: "We only have two more weeks, so the goal is to put all the experience we’ve had before to use and improve what we can – use all the bad situations to be better this time. We want to win this week for sure and after that we will play in Argentina, so we want to arrive there in the best possible shape and show our best game at home. All our opponents here are really good teams and we have already played against them a couple of times, which is good for us, but they know our team too. Poland might be the most difficult game, with them playing at home. They are really tall and we need to work around that."
Belgium coach Gert Vande Broek: "I think that my team work hard, but is very young and unexperienced. We just started and we are trying to build a new project. I believe in them, but I know that this week will be a ‘week of truth’. In Bydgoszcz the strongest teams are Poland and Germany, but the most important match for us will be the game against Argentina. Honestly, we are here to try to win at least one game. We have to improve the way we play, because the first week was really good. Something broke up during the following weeks, when we had very strong opponents, like Serbia and USA and lost our self-confidence. Anyway I can understand my players, because I know that playing against such quality teams is not easy. Our girls have to know how to react when they lose a few times in a row. So this week will be also a mental game. We have to find a real fighting spirit and prove that we are worthy of staying in the League."
Belgium captain Ilka Van De Vyver said: "It is the first time I am a captain of the team and for me this is a big change compared to the years before. You can see the different leaders in our group and everybody knows what they should do. I think that the strongest team in Bydgoszcz will be Poland, because they are in good shape and play at home. We saw their video and they are making good connections and it is not easy to score against them. In my opinion Poland are the team who will perform really well in this week. I think volleyball is really alive here. I expect a lot of supporters at the Luczniczka Hall."
Germany coach Felix Koslowsk said: "Of course I feel very good here. I’m always very happy to come here and have an opportunity to play in Poland. We are expecting a big crowd and an exciting atmosphere starting from tomorrow's matches. I think we have a very interesting group this week, all four teams are almost at the same level, so it might make for some very interesting matches. We will try to do our best and win as many sets and matches as possible."
Germany captain Maren Fromm said: "I had a chance to play here in Poland during the 2013/2014 club season - also in the hall in Bydgoszcz. We played here with the national team too during the European Championship. As the coach said, it’s special to play here in Poland because people love volleyball and it’s a great honour to play in front of such a crowd. Many teams will use this tournament as an opportunity to give a chance also to younger players, to change their roster and let younger players gain experience and test themselves before the World Championship."
Poland coach Jacek Nawrocki said: "This city has a lot of experience in organising volleyball events, so they will have no problem with handling this tournament. Our opponents show similar levels of skill to ours, but we will not be the favorites here for sure. Our victories so far against Italy, China, Korea and our good play against USA and Serbia are all a result of my players’ great attitude."
Poland captain Agnieszka Kąkolewska said: "We definitely feel more confident after the matches so far, compared to when we were just starting the VNL. Wins against Italy and China made us believe in ourselves more. We know we can do more and now in Bydgoszcz and next week in Walbrzych we need to focus on our own play and keep that fighting spirit. I know that there are some fantastic volleyball fans here in Bydgoszcz and their support will be a great help."