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Polish U21 champions into knockout round after two comfortable wins

Reigning U21 world champions Jagoda Gruszscynska (left) and Katarzyna Kociolek are on of the favourites for the U19 title
Porto, Portugal, July 11, 2013 – Poland’s Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszczynska booked an early ticket to the elimination rounds on Thursday after two comfortable wins on the first day of pool play of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Porto.

The reigning U21 world champions defeated Norway’s Benedicte Maaseide and Cecilie Woie 2-0 (21-12 21-5) in an early morning match. In the afternoon they had another 2-0 (21-10 21-11) win over Venezuela’s Valeria de los Angeles and Celeinis Bernal in sunnier conditions.

Although the second match did not take but 24 minutes, the two 18-year old girls were not satisfied with the way they played.

“Our first match was great, we played very good and did not make a lot of mistakes”, Kociolek said. “The second match was horrible, we were so lazy and sleepy. And we made a lot of errors. Maybe it was because we had to play on another court, maybe because it was much hotter. I don’t know.”

Impressive honour list

Just three weeks ago Kociolek and Gruszczynska won the FIVB U21 World Championships in Umag. Last year they won the European U18 Championships and Kociolek already collected gold and silver with Karolina Baran at the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Youth World Championships.

The Polish girls are considered one of the favourites for the 2013 U19 title in Porto, especially since Kociolek gained some experience at the World Championships in Stare Jablonki last week, finishing 37th with Daria Paszek.

Hard to be a favourite

“Favourites? Yes, but one of them”, Kociolek said. “But it is always hard to be a favourite and win the tournament. Maybe it can be a motivation for us. I hope it will help us, if not for winning, then for a medal.”

“I think Switzerland and Brazil are favourites too”, Gruszscynska said. “We beat them before, but this is a different tournament and everything is possible. But I hope having the experience of winning in Umag will help us.”

FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Tournament Page
FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships Girls’ Results
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