Poland (POL) vs. Germany (GER) women - Quarterfinals #5801489

An elated Różański celebrates with her teammates

The best team in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 Preliminary Phase, Poland were the first to book their place in the semifinals of this year’s edition of the tournament in Arlington, the United States, on Wednesday.

Playing at the College Park Center, the Polish maintained the same form that made them earn ten victories in the Preliminary Phase and secured a 3-1 (25-12, 21-25, 25-21, 26-24) win over continental rivals Germany in the first quarterfinal encounter of the VNL Finals.

  • Watch Volleyball Nations League 2023 Finals live on VBTV

The Poles now need to wait for Thursday’s quarterfinal match between Brazil and China to know their next opponents. The semifinals of the VNL 2023 will be played on Saturday, one day before the medal matches will take place in Texas.

The victory against the Germans also gave the Polish their best result ever in the VNL. Guaranteed in the semifinals, the Europeans, who appeared in all four previous editions of the tournament, were ninth in 2018, fifth in 2019, 11th in 2021 and 13th in 2022.

Magdalena Stysiak and Olivia Różański were Poland’s main offensive weapons in the match, with each of them producing 18 points. While the 22-year-old star opposite tallied 17 kills and one ace, the 26-year-old outside hitter had 16 kills, one ace and one block.

“This feeling we have today is something incredible,” Stysiak said after the Polish victory. “I really believe in my team and I love the team and the atmosphere that we have. We had to work really hard to be in the semifinals. Regardless of who comes on the other side of the bracket, we need to focus on ourselves. For us, it’s a great result to be among the four best teams in the VNL, but I’m confident we can still show more.”

Poland (POL) vs. Germany (GER) women - Quarterfinals #5793658

Stysiak scored 18 points in the Polish victory

Also standing out in Poland’s victory were outside hitter Martyna Łukasic, who got 15 points (all in kills), and middle blocker Joanna Pacak, who came off the bench to produce nine points, six of them in blocks, including the game-winner.

Germany had the match’s top scorer in star outside hitter Hanna Orthmann, who left the court with 22 points (21 kills, one ace), and three other players who scored in double digits in outside hitter Lina Alsmeier (15), middle blocker Camilla Weitzel (13) and opposite Lena Stigrot (ten).

Poland had a very strong performance in the quarterfinals as, besides leading Germany in kills (64 to 57) and blocks (ten to five), also handed only 14 points in errors, against 21 of their opponents. The Germans were better from the service line, firing six aces to Poland’s two.

**Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results**

The quarterfinals of the VNL 2023 continue on Wednesday, with the United States, who finished second in the Preliminary Phase, facing Japan, who were seventh, at 19:30 local time (00:30 UTC, Thursday).

The two remaining duels will be held on Thursday, with fourth-placed Brazil playing fifth-placed China at 10:30 local time (15:30 UTC) and third-placed Türkiye battling sixth-placed Italy at 14:00 local time (19:00 UTC).

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