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Nawrocki: VNL very important goal for Poland

 
Coach Jacek Nawrocki instructs his team during a 2018 VNL game
 
Szczyrk, Poland, April 25, 2019 – The 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League will be a very important goal for the women’s national team of Poland. Coach Jacek Nawrocki emphasised the point when he announced Poland's extended roster ahead of this year’s competition, which is set to get underway in less than a month.

“We are one of the so-called Challenger teams, which means we have to fight for our right to continue playing in this elite competition. We must approach it seriously and, although we are also playing Olympic qualifications and the European Championship later this season, the VNL will be a very important goal for us,” Nawrocki said.

In 2018, Poland finished among the top eight teams of the preliminary round, but Jacek Nawrocki thinks the level of competition in the second edition will be higher. “The VNL will be even stronger this season. The place of Argentina is taken by a much stronger Bulgaria. The Dominican Republic will also press itself to do better than last year. The other teams have their own recognizable and irrefutable brand. That’s why we have to play at our maximum in every game,” the coach added.

Team Poland during the national anthem before a 2018 VNL match

A group of 11 players, including some juniors, have already gathered in Szczyrk to start preparations. At the same time, coach Nawrocki is keeping an eye on the medal playoffs in the Polish league.

Nawrocki’s list of names includes 15 staff members and an extended roster of 30 players:

Setters: Alicja Grabka, Joanna Wolosz, Julia Nowicka, Marlena Plesnierowicz, Marta Wojcik
Opposites: Magdalena Stysiak, Malgorzata Jasek, Malwina Smarzek, Martyna Lukasik, Monika Bociek
Outside hitters: Aleksandra Wojcik, Emilia Mucha, Julia Twardowska, Martyna Grajber, Natalia Medrzyk, Natalia Murek, Olivia Rozanski, Paulina Damaske, Zuzanna Gorecka
Middle blockers: Agnieszka Kakolewska, Anna Stencel, Gabriela Polanska, Kamila Witkowska, Klaudia Alagierska, Weronika Centka, Zuzanna Efimienko-Mlotkowska
Liberos: Julia Mazur, Maria Stenzel, Monika Jagla, Paulina Maj-Erwardt


The return of experienced setter and former captain Joanna Wolosz to the national team is certainly the highlight of the announced roster, since she skipped the 2018 season. The athletes, who excelled individually in the 2018 VNL, like Malwina Smarzek, the best scorer of the preliminary round, Agnieszka Kakolewska, the best blocker of the preliminary round, and Marlena Plesnierowicz, the best server of the preliminary round, are all on Nawrocki’s squad again.

Smarzek spikes during Poland’s 2018 VNL upset of Olympic champs China in Macau

Before the start of the 2019 VNL on May 21, Poland will take part in this year’s edition of the strong annual Montreux Volley Masters invitational (May 13–18). The White-and-Reds will start their VNL campaign at home in Opole against the teams of Italy, Germany and Thailand.






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