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Poland retain Hubert Jerzy Wagner Memorial tournament title

 
The tournament, held under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, has been previously hosted by the cities of Olsztyn, Lodz, Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Zielona Gora, Ilawie, Osterode, Elblag.

Plock, Poland, September 9, 2013 – Poland have won the annual Hubert Jerzy Wagner Memorial tournament for the second year in a row, despite losing to Russia in Sunday’s closing match. Russia won the last match of the tournament against Poland 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18) but still finished second in the tournament rankings.

The 11th Hubert Jerzy Wagner Memorial tournament took place at the Orlen Arena in Plock in central Poland from September 6 to 8. It was the first time the tournament was held in Plock and included the participation of hosts Poland as well as Russia, the Netherlands and Germany. The matches served as preparation for the 2013 CEV VELUX EURO Volley Championship that will be organised by Poland and Denmark from September 20 to 29.

Germany claimed their only victory in the tournament on Sunday as their side led by coach Vital Heynen  beat the Netherlands 3-1 (25-21, 25-14, 19-25, 25-19) finishing in fourth place at the end of the tournament.

“I think you could see that we weren’t happy with today’s performance simply by looking at the face of my teammates at the end of the game,” said Dutch star Rob Bontje. “We did not show the same quality as we had done yesterday in our game with Russia even though we had prepared very carefully for the match with Germany and had worked hard. We were nevertheless happy to join this tournament and hope to come back next year as well. There is a great audience, the event is well organised and we have been playing strong teams with two weeks to go for the European Championship.”

“We are of course disappointed,” said Dutch coach Edwin Benne. “We dropped dramatically in the quality and intensity of our play since yesterday’s game with Russia. We still have to work a lot before the start of the European Championship. Today we did not deserve to win at all. We have to analyse what we have done in this tournament and try to perform better next time.”

“During the warm-up I felt some pain close to my abs and since we did not want to take any risks at this stage of the preparations for the European Championship we changed the starting six,” explained Germany’s captain Jochen Schöps. “Today my team played good; it wasn’t perfect, for sure, but certainly better than we had done the last few days. Still there is a lot to improve on before the European Championship”.

“I do not have too much to add to the good analysis made by Jochen. The audience here is just amazing, the tournament good organised, so I am grateful for we were invited to be here” said coach Heynen.

Speaking on their victory, Poland team captain Marcin Mozdzonek said, “We are very pleased to finish first in the final standing though as we already said the result here was not that important. We wanted to test our tactics and to see if the changes that our coach has asked for are working or not. In the end everyone was happy and we have showed some good volleyball.”  

“As for the game with Russia, I think that if we had served better and stronger, the result would have been different. We still are quite happy for we were able to avoid the ups and downs we had recently,” Mozdzonek concluded.

“I think we showed a good performance today especially in the first, second and fourth set” added Russia captain Sergey Makarov. “It is a pity that Bartosz Kurek did not play today because we really wanted to see where he stands before we cross paths at the European Championship. We still have some more friendly matches before the start of the EuroVolley when we will come back to Poland as we have been assigned to the preliminary group in Gdynia. We know we must be well prepared by then because the Championship is the most important tournament of the year.”  

Final standing  
1. Poland
2. Russia
3. Netherlands
4. Germany  

Individual Awards
MVP: Nikolay Pavlov (RUS)
Best Spiker: Nikolay Pavlov (RUS)
Best Blocker: Marcin Mozdzonek (POL)
Best Server: Dmitriy Muserskiy (RUS)
Best Receiver: Michal Kubiak (POL)
Best Libero: Pawel Zatorski (POL)
Best Setter: Sergey Grankin (RUS)



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