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Wolosz ready for VNL challenges on Poland return

Joanna Wolosz is back in Poland colours in the 2019 VNL
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 22, 2019 – Joanna Wołosz endured mixed emotions after she made her FIVB Volleyball Nations League debut in Poland’s defeat to Italy in front of their home fans in Opole on Tuesday. 

The 29-year-old setter missed out on the 2018 edition when Poland finished eighth after the pool stage and missed out on the Finals, but she made her VNL bow in the 3-2 (15-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-17) defeat on the first day of week one.

She came off the bench to help Poland fight back from two sets to love down, but they were unable to complete the comeback in the tie-break. 

“I talked with the coach and it was agreed that if needed, I would be ready to go on court,” Wołosz said. “It was a bit hard for us to get into the game in the first sets, but then with each point, little by little, we managed to do better.

“I think we came back nicely to make it a 2-3 and it’s a pity that we lost in the end, with literally just two-three actions that sealed the game. Overall, I think we can’t complain.”

With Italy now out of the way Jacek Nawrocki’s team will take on Germany and Thailand. They then travel to the Netherlands in week two, Belgium in week three, China in week four before they complete the round robin stage in Korea, where they also face Japan and the Dominican Republic.

“It’s really good that Poland has a chance to compete with the best teams in the world,” Wołosz said. “For me this will be a new experience, but I watched the tournament last year and I know what to expect from it. 

“The pace of the competition is intense, but all teams have the same conditions and as many kilometres to travel. We just have to grit our teeth, accept any possible inconveniences and give our best in every game.”

Wołosz handed the captaincy over to Agnieszka Kakolewska in 2018 and the 24-year-old middle blocker excelled in the round robin stage where she was leading blocker. She was also recently named MVP at the Montreux Masters, just as she was in 2018.

However, Wołosz has no problem in taking a backseat from captaincy and while she is adapting to being back in the national team she expects it to soon feel a familiar as before. 

“I will not take anything away from anyone,” Wołosz said. “She’s doing a superb job as the team captain and I don’t want my coming back to be a reason for any sudden changes. Aga is a great captain and I hope it stays that way.

“I do need to switch back to the “national team mode”, but I should be a hundred per cent ready in a short while.”

Wołosz has been in good form for her club side Volley Conegliano. They won the Italian League and reached they CEV Champions League final where they lost 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 14-25, 25-22) to league rivals Novara.

“I think it was a good season,” Wołosz said. “It was long, difficult, with ups and downs but I think that in the end we proved that we are the best team in the Italian League, which is a great thing.”

Related article:
Player to watch: Poland middle blocker Agnieszka Kakolewska


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