Kaja Grobelna has been in good form over the first two weeks of the VNL
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 4, 2019 – With week three of the 2019 women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League about to start, Belgium’s Kaja Grobelna is looking ahead to a match that will carry more emotional weight than many of the others.
Belgium’s number eight has been in strong form and has scored double figures in five of their six matches so far and the opposite spiker is one of the Belgian players who has Polish roots, in her case her father. Dominika Sobolska, Dominika Strumilo and Yourek Strumilo also have Polish heritage which means they have extra motivation ahead of their match against Poland on Thursday.
“The game against Poland is a special one for us,” Grobelna said. “Perhaps emotionally it is the most important of the whole VNL competition. Their team is playing great volleyball and in Malwina Smarzek they have someone who has scored nearly 30 points in every game.
“A few years ago, the Polish women’s team was not as strong, but they started a new project that has brought them the results they are having today.”
Belgium have won three of their six matches. In week one in Ruse, Bulgaria they opened with a loss to 2018 VNL champions USA, but then recovered to defeat Japan and Bulgaria. A week on they travelled to Macau and lost their first two matches to China and Korea. They recovered to beat Thailand to leave them 10th in the VNL standings.
Before they take on Poland at the Lange Munte Arena in Kortrijk, Gert Vande Broek’s team must take on Russia and reigning FIVB world champions Serbia.
“Until now Russia have played with some young players and they lost some unexpected matches,” Grobelna said. “Here in Kortrijk five experienced players are coming back so it is impossible to say how they will already be integrated in the team.
“Serbia is always a team of world class players. It should be very difficult to win from one of those teams. Winning one game in front of our own public would be fantastic, but this is probably the pool with the most difficult teams: Russia, Serbia and Poland.
“I hope we can improve a lot over the next few weeks, because after the VNL there is the Olympic qualification tournament and the CEV European Championships…in Poland.”
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