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Polish Pair Procure Pool Play Place

Monika Brzostek of Poland receives the Mikasa in a match Tuesday against the Nystrom twins of Finland.

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 8, 2014 - After failing in their previous attempts to qualify for a main draw berth in the Swiss Alps, Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska of Poland finally netted a place in the “money” rounds of a FIVB World Tour Grand Slam stop in Gstaad by ousting the Nystrom twins of Finland here Tuesday afternoon.

With the women’s 16-match qualifier of the US$800,000 Gstaad Grand Slam being played in cool and wet conditions on two courts in the Swiss village, the fifth-seeded Brzostek and Kolosinska scored a 2-0 (21-15 and 21-13) win in over 12th-seeded Emilia and Erika Nystrom in 32 minutes.

Brzostek and Kolosinska, who have now advanced to their third-straight FIVB Grand Slam main draw this season, had never won a match in Gstaad.  The Polish pair played together in the 2011 event where they were eliminated by a German team.  Brzostek and Karolina Sowala participated together in the 2009 and 2010 Gstaad events where they were ousted by teams from Russia and China, respectively.

“It is good to finally win a match here,” said the 24-year old Brzostek, who started playing full-time on the FIVB World Tour in 2008 with Sowala.  “We are glad we only had to play one match today because the weather was horrible.  We warmed up in our hotel room instead of outside, so we were not very cold when the match started.”

The Polish women credited their coach (Lukas Fijalek, brother of Polish player Grzegorz) for their success Tuesday.  “Lukas tactical plan for our match against the Nystroms today was very good,” said Kolosinska, who is also 24 and a regular on the FIVB World Tour since 2010.  “We sided out extremely well and Monika’s defense behind me was very good.  We played with a lot of confidence today.”

The first-half of the 2014 season has been productive for Brzostek and Kolosinska, who posted a pair of fifths last month in Prague and Moscow for their best-ever finishes on the FIVB World Tour.  The Polish pair also help win their country to win a European Continental Cup competition last week in Croatia with victories over teams from Denmark and Luxembourg.

“Kinga’s blocking has played a big part in our success this season along with my defense,” Brzostek added.  “Obviously, we gain a lot of confidence with each win.  We still have a lot of room for improvement in all aspects of our game.  We are very pleased with our victory today because the Nystroms are very experienced and we had trouble beating them the past two seasons on the European tour.”

Tuesday’s victory was the fourth match for Brzostek and Kolosinska against the 30-year old Finnish twins.  With the head-to-head meetings tied at 2-2 between the two teams, the two Polish wins have been on the FIVB World Tour this season.  Both the Nystroms victories over Brzostek and Kolosinska were in 2012 and 2013 at the European circuit.

While Brzostek and Kolosinska were playing in their 31st FIVB-sanctioned event Tuesday, the Nystrom were competing in their 150th FIVB tournament since starting compete internationally in 2001.  Of the record 150 FIVB events for a team, the Nystroms have competed together in 143 World Tour stops, three youth world championships and four challenger/satellite events.

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