Today in Gdynia speactators see unusual friendly match. 10 years ago Polish “Goldens” get gold medal in EuroVolley in Turkey, beating host in final game. Coach of that team, Andrzej Niemczyk decided to organise a game as a tribute for that times. “Goldens” meet with current Polish NT, coached by Piotr Makowski.
“GOLDENS” – POLAND 2-2 (28-26 25-22 11-25 20-25)
1 Katarzyna Skowrońska-Dolata – Middle Blocker (her position 10 years ago)
2 Mariola Zenik – Libero
3 Natalia Bamber-Laskowska – Universal (didn’t play because of pregnancy)
4 Izabela Bełcik – Setter
5 Magdalena Śliwa – Setter
6 Anna Podolec – Middle Blocker (forced because of injuries of teammates)
7 Małgorzata Glinka-Mogentale – Opposite/Outside Hitter (in last set also as Middle Blocker)
8 Dorota Świeniewicz – Outside Hitter
9 Liliana Olszewska
10 Małgorzata Niemczyk – Outside Hitter
11 Sylwia Pycia – Middle Blocker
12 Dominika Leśniewicz – Libero
13 Milena Rosner – Outside Hitter
14 Maria Liktoras – Middle Blocker
16 Aleksandra Jagieło – Outside Hitter
17 Joanna Mirek – Opposite/Outside Hitter
1 Anna Grejman – Outside Hitter/Opposite
4 Tamara Kaliszuk – Opposite
5 Patrycja Polak – Outside Hitter/Opposite
6 Aleksandra Wójcik – Outside Hitter
8 Zuzanna Efimienko – Middle Blocker
10 Katarzyna Połeć – Middle Blocker
11 Kinga Kasprzak – Opposite/Outside Hitter
12 Milena Radecka – Setter
15 Agnieszka Kąkolewska – Middle Blocker
16 Natalia Gajewska – Setter
21 Agata Durajczyk – Libero
22 Ewa Śliwińska – Outside Hitter/Opposite
Polsih team looks a bit different as it was announced earlier, missing were Paulina Maj, Joanna Kaczor, Joanna Wołosz, Katarzyna Konieczna, Monika Martałek, Karolina Różycka. Also some “Goldens” couldn’t play. Natalia Bamber-Laskowska is pregnant, Katarzyna Skowrońska-Dolata is injured. Also Sylwia Pycia has some health problems, that’s the reason why she came only for serve.
Line-ups and scores:
“Goldens”: Śliwa (4), Świeniewicz (5), Liktoras (6), Glinka-Mogentale (13), Niemczyk (1), Podolec (16), Leśniewicz (L) and Jagieło (9), Bełcik (2), Zenik (1) (L), Mirek (5), Rosner, Pycia
Poland: Radecka (3), Polak (13), Kąkolewska (4), Kasprzak (5), Wójcik (7), Durajczyk (L) and Kaliszuk (9), Grejman (11), Efimienko (6), Śliwińska (2), Gajewska (1)
Unfortunately main founder of this match, Andrzej Niemczyk couldn’t appear because of illness. Because of that, coach of “Goldens” was Niemczyk’s assistant and previous NT coach Alojzy Świderek. Absent was also early died middle blocker, Agata Mróz-Olszewska. On court during first point appeared her daughter, Liliana.
At the beginning of the match both teams received barely. Some of “Goldens” retired few years ago and it was visible, but the longer they played, the more confidence they gained. Libero Dominika Leśniewicz and outside hitters: Dorota Świeniewicz and Małgorzata Niemczyk started playing better, not much below level from their best years. “Goldens” led at first time out (8-6). From prsent NT the best shape kept wing spiker Kinga Kasprzak. After block on Małgorzata Glinka–Mogentale made by Agnieszka Kąkolewska there was a tie (17-17). “Goldens” retook advantage by Liktoras, Anna Podolec and Magdalena Śliwa. Coach Piotr Makowski changed opposite immediately, Kasprzak was replaced by Tamara Kaliszuk and current NT took lead (21-22). At the end of the set battle was quite equal. Set ended after block-out spike made by Aleksandra Jagieło, who changed tired Niemczyk.
“Goldens” started second set perfcetly (8-4). Dominika Leśniewicz digged amazing balls, many times killed Aleksandra Jagieło and Małgorzata Glinka-Mogentale. Magdalena Śliwa smartly set balls to her teammates, using Maria Liktoras, spiking from zone 2 (16-10). Nice spikes by Katarzyna Połeć and Patrycja Polak didn’t decrease behind. Later during set Alojzy Świderek used double substitution with Joanna Mirek and Izabela Bełcik. Also Mariola Zenik appeared for back row. Substitutions didn’t give new power for “Goldens”, Polish NT thanks to good actions by Zuzanna Efimienko and Tamara Kaliszuk overcame behind to two points (21-19). Last points were Śliwa’s show – she won the point at the net against Efimienko and later tricked opponents, pushing second touch into opponent’s court. Sed ended spike by Glinka (25-22).
In third set chaos came into Goldens’ team, playing with Izabela Bełcik and Mariola Zenik instead of Śliwa and Leśniewicz. Team coached by Makowski didn’t give up and well started third set (8-16). Katarzyna Skowrońska-Dolata because of injury couldn’t play, but she had fun, being a commentator throughout first actions in third set and later being line referee, together with Małgorzata Niemczyk and Dominka Leśniewicz. Polish NT kept good level, nice kills presented Anna Grejman, Tamara Kaliszuk and Ewa Śliwińska. “Goldens” lost contact with opponent and clearly gave up set (11-25).
In last set we saw some surpire – Małgorzata Glinka-Mogentale played as middle blocker and Joanna Mirek as opposite. Back to game returned Magdalena Śliwa, replacing Iza Bełcik who played in third set. “Goldens” came back to better performance, but current NT kept resistance (10-10). Teams fight neck in neck, ace made by Katarzyna Połeć gave small advantage for Makowski’s team (14-16). Spikes made by Kaliszuk, Polak and Efimienko and Glinka’s spike error increased distance (16-21). Five points rbetween teams remained till the end of set (20-25).
While audience waited for tiebreak, speaker announced end of the game, what was fair to both teams. Of course result of game wasn’t the most important part of today celebration. Unfortunately I’m disappointed by roster of Polish NT. Many important players didn’t appear here, some probably didn’t get permission from their clubs (Wołosz is now in Italy, some other girls played friendly matches in clubs). Comparing these two teams, I saw huge happiness and nice atmosphere by “Goldens” and I didn’t see it in current NT at all. In next days NT coach will talk with federation about NT performance during EuroVolley. I hope that during qualifications to WCH in January we’ll see the best players, not these who will agree to play like it was throughout this summer.