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Press releases
FIVB World Grand Prix in Poland – Friday matches preview
Rzeszow, Poland, 2nd August 2007 - Tomorrow (Friday, 3rd August), the FIVB World Grand Prix tournament in Poland will begin for good. At 5:00 PM Russia will play China and at 8:00 PM the home team will compete against the USA. This year’s group “C” is clearly a strong one – it comprises of the present European (Poland), World (Russia) and Olympic (China) Champions. Russia has the most achieved Women’s National Volleyball Team in the world – six times World Champions, World Cup and World Grand Champions Cup winners, seventeen times European Champions and three times World Grand Prix winners – such a showcase of medals gives to think. The team underwent a major change since the last season.
The new Italian head coach Giovanni Caprara altered the typical Russian style of the team’s game. Their physically strong, high and straightforward Volleyball gained more speed, combinations and modern style. This was the source of the Russian success at the last World Championships.
On the other hand, China’s failure in that competition triggered considerable changes in the  squad. The new, young and renewed team has won all its friendly games and tournaments so far (i.e. the Yeltsin Cup and China Masters Cup). This is their biggest challenge so far. China will surely try to take advantage of Russia’s having two players injured and the weariness, that coach Caprara was talking about on the pre-tournament conference. The current Olympic champions may also have less pressure on the team, since the WGP 2007 Finals will be played in their own yard and they are already qualified. The same applies to the ultimate goal of the other teams here – the Olympic qualification. The Chinese already have it, others, like Poland and USA, have to fight for it.
The tournament in Rzeszow will be a field for experimenting with lineups and strategy for all teams. Polish team consists of both experienced players, debutants (like Eleonora Dziekiewicz), as well as come-backs, like Dominika Lesniewicz (four years of absence in the National Team) and Dorota Swieniewicz (team captain, Europe’s MVP 2005 and a mother of a six months-old son) The World Grand Prix will test both them and their new coach Marco Bonitta. Poland’s first rival – the USA team has two main lineup players – Nancy Metcalf and Danielle Scott-Arruda recovering from recent injuries. All the strengths and weaknesses will be known better after the first two matches.


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