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    Polish Volleyball Team Triumphs in Dress Rehearsal Ahead of European Championships

    The Polish national volleyball team secured victory against Ukraine with a close score of 3:2 (25:22, 24:26, 25:22, 29:31, 15:12) during a preparatory match in Łódź. This showdown served as a crucial dress rehearsal for Nikola Grbić’s squad just days before the commencement of the European Championships.

    Held at the Atlas Arena in Łódź, the match marked the culmination of Poland’s rigorous preparations for the upcoming European Championships. 

    While this victory showcases the team’s progress under coach Nikola Grbić, it’s still uncertain if they’ve reached peak form. Despite their triumph, the match against Ukraine, a participant in the European Championships ranked thirteenth by FIVB, was a closely contested affair. 

    The Polish players exhibited great enthusiasm from the onset. They took early initiative, though struggling to maintain more than a two-point lead in the opening set. Shifting dynamics in the middle of the set led to a reversal of roles, but the Poles ultimately regained control. Tomasz Fornal’s pivotal attack secured their lead in the set.

    The second set saw the entrance of Bartosz Kurek and Wilfredo Leon, substantially boosting Poland’s offensive prowess. Both players adeptly dismantled the Ukrainian block. The set remained tightly contested, featuring periodic interruptions from Grbić’s side that Ukraine capitalized on. Nonetheless, a combination of Leon, Fornal, and Kurek did not manage to win the set.

    Subsequent sets mirrored each other in competitiveness. The third set concluded in favour of the hosts, bolstered by Kurek’s service ace and Jakub Kochanowski’s pivotal score. The final set saw a battle of nerves, culminating in a dramatic tie-break. Despite Poland’s initial 3:0 lead and subsequent gains, they faced nerve-wracking moments, relinquishing their advantage. Hopefully, they managed to win the tie-break and thus the whole match. 

    As the European Championships, featuring 24 teams, approach, Poland’s spotlight intensifies. Set to take place in Italy, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Israel, the championship kicks off on Monday. Poland, positioned in Group C, will engage with North Macedonia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Montenegro successively. 

    Poland – Ukraine 3:2 (25:22, 24:26, 25:22, 29:31, 15:12)

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