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Polish opposite Monika Gałkowska had solid performances on both matches against France (Photo: Polish Volleyball Federation)

Poland will head to Antalya, Türkiye, for the start of their campaign in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 next week on a high after the Europeans displayed a dominant game to defeat France twice in two days in friendly matches held in Radom.

The Poles, who were 13th in last year’s edition of the VNL, won all eight sets they played against the French, who will compete in the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup this year, sending a strong message to their fans just a few days before their VNL debut.

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The two sides agreed to play four sets on Wednesday and the Poles won all of them (25-21, 30-28, 25-11, 25-23) thanks to a strong serving performance, that generated impressive 12 aces.

Outside hitter Martyna Czyrniańska, who was only on the court in the last two sets, made great use of the opportunity to play, tallying a team-high 11 points (nine kills, two aces). Opposites Magdalena Stysiak and Monika Gałkowska and rising star outside hitter Olivia Rózański ended the encounter with eight points each.

Thursday’s duel had the same outcome, with the hosts delivering a strong performance and taking all four sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20) in front of their home fans. Blocking was a big factor in the Polish victory this time, with the Poles getting 18 stops during the match.

Gałkowska had another strong performance, coming off the bench to become the match’s top scorer with 13 points (ten kills, two blocks, one ace). Czyrniańska and middle blocker Agnieszka Korneluk came next, with nine points apiece.

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Outside hitter Olivia Rózański should be a key player for Poland during the VNL (Photo: Polish Volleyball Federation)

The goal of the team, which didn’t count on star setter and team captain Joanna Wołosz against France, is to build from the seventh-place finish they got at last year’s FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

“We showed some good volleyball last year at the World Championship and we hope can do it again this season,” Stysiak commented. “Of course, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we are ready to play. We want to give our best and show Poland and the entire world that our team is growing and getting better every year.”

Poland will face Canada in their VNL debut, on Tuesday. Between then and Sunday, the Europeans will also play against defending champions Italy, Thailand and reigning world champions Serbia.

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