Such a compliment to the rivals was made by Tuomas Sammelvuo.
Today in Gdansk, the quarterfinal match of the European Championship with a very loud sign will take place – the reigning world champion Poland against the silver medalist of the Russian Olympics. The meeting starts at 21:30 Moscow time.
A little more than a month ago, the Poles lost to France in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament, so today’s match is special for them – a victory will give hope for the salvation of the season, and defeat will lead to collapse.
“RUSSIA WILL HAVE TO PLAY VERY GOOD TO BEAT US”
“If you win the Euro, it will become a delicious dessert at the end of a very difficult year,” said the Polish leader Wilfredo Leona in an interview Sportowe Fakty. – I still feel pain because of the Olympics. The medal was my dream. I donated a lot and worked very hard for this, but nothing came of it. I don’t like this pain, it’s not easy to deal with. But failures teach a lot, even more than victories. Now I know what I can change to avoid this situation next time. ”
The Poles are very angry and motivated, and today they will have the seventh player in the face of 11 thousand spectators who will provide powerful support. On the other hand, Polish volleyball players are under severe psychological pressure. A home defeat would be a disaster for them.
Head coach of Poles Vital Heinen so he told reporters: “If we lose to Russia, you will kill us.” At the same time, the Belgian specialist noted that pressure helps him to work.
“I think I will be comfortable on Tuesday, because when Poland plays with Russia, there is always pressure. We have a very serious obstacle ahead of us. Let’s see how we handle it. We improved during the tournament. Russia will have to play very well to defeat us. I think we have a similar problem with our opponent – a wave-like game. Despite the loss of the diagonal, the Russians are still strong, Heinen wrote on his blog.
Departure in the quarterfinals will be a failure for the Russian national team, but the Olympic medal will soften the blow. Although the mentor of the Russian team Tuomas Sammelvuo once again reminded him that he lives in the present day, and not in the past or in the future.
“We are all proud of this silver medal, it will not be taken away from us. But what happened in Tokyo remained in Tokyo. We came to the European Championship with a slightly different team, with different tactical decisions. We will put our heart and soul into the quarterfinals, ”Sammelvuo said in an interview with our Polish colleagues.
He also noted the opponent’s serve, which is able to decide the fate of the match, and the enormous power in the attack. “I would venture to say that this is the team with the most potential in the world at the moment,” said Sammelvuo. – For the Poles, this tournament is, in a good sense, a rematch for Tokyo, and it can be seen. All those dreams that they did not realize a month ago, they are trying to realize at the Euro ”.
“RUSSIANS WILL GO CHARGED”
The previous meeting of the rivals took place on June 5 in the League of Nations. Leon and his teammates nailed the Russians with a serve – 12 aces and 6 challenge balls in four games (21:25, 25:19, 25:19, 25:14). Valentine Golubev (-5), Denis Bogdan (-4), Egor Klyuka (-3), Dmitry Volkov (-3), Anton Semyshev (-2) – each of the back row players felt the power of Polish innings. Leon was especially good – 7 aces.
The technique is the most important basic element in volleyball, but in the game with Poland, its quality is doubly important. Against a high bloc, it is important for Russians to be able to attack quickly. In addition, you need your own presentation. Kluk was great against the Ukrainians and Ivan Yakovlev, invested as much as possible and lost quite a lot Dmitry Volkov… Against the Poles, everyone will probably have to serve on the brink of risk.
As for Leon, he is not even in the top five in aces at this Euro (11 points in 6 matches), but this is not indicative. In matches against outsiders, the sideplayer was not overexposed on the court. At the same time, in an important game with Serbia (3: 2), he served the most and made 5 aces.
So far, this is the most difficult match of the Poles in the tournament, in which they were 1: 2 behind in games. Including due to an unsuccessful game in the attack Michal Kubiaka… But Heinen only replaced his favorite after two failed sets, releasing Kamila Semenyuka… Next Leon and Mateusz Benek knocked the opponent out of the hold, and “ate” the block Uros Kovachevich (2/11). Benek became the hero of the tie-break ending: first he caught with a block Alexander Atanasevich, and then scored in a counterattack – 16:14.
The Poles closed Belgium tightly with a block (16 – 6), having won the match with a “clean sheet”. Heinen’s team did not experience any problems with Ukraine either (3: 0), especially since the rival in the last match of the group stage was unmotivated and removed the leaders after the first game. In the 1/8 finals, the Poles simply crushed Finland (25:16, 25:16, 25:14), making 10 aces and showing a high percentage of attacks. Leon scored 9 out of 12 goals (75%), Bartosz Kurek – 10 out of 12 (83%). Kurek will certainly start the match against Russia at the start, but also his replacement Lukasz Kaczmarek this shows a good level.
“We are confident that the Russians will come out 100 percent charged against us. We have a serious task ahead of us, but I am confident that we will fulfill it. Russia is a strong team, you need to play with it competently, technically correctly. We have everything to defeat them confidently, ”Kaczmarek said in an interview with TVP.
Recall that the Poles are the current bronze medalists of the European Championship. Two years ago, Slovenia stopped them in the semifinals, having previously knocked out Russia from the tournament. Now the unconvincing game in the group provided the Russians with the hardest path to the playoffs, during which they need to perform feats.
“The team from Russia, regardless of the composition, remains a strong contender,” says the Poles blocker Peter Novakovsky… – They started the tournament in an average way, but they got better from match to match. It will be an exciting game. “
The collapse of France at the Euro: the Olympic champions flew to the 1/8 finals!
Europe championship. 1/4 finals
September 14, Tuesday
18: 30 * Netherlands – Serbia
21:30 Poland – Russia
TV: “Match! Country” Web: Sportbox, “Match”
September 15, Wednesday
17:00 Italy – Germany
TV: “Match! The game” Web: Sportbox, “Match”
20:00 Czech Republic – Slovenia
* – Moscow time.