Exactly the same as two years ago, Poland and Slovenia lock horns again in the EuroVolley semifinal. Two years ago, Slovenia in front of a home crowd in Ljubljana beat Poland 3-1 to eventually become silver medalists. Now Poland will play in front of the home crowd and they hope to improve their record. At the European Championships the teams met on four occasions, and only their first match - in the group stage in 2015 ended with victory of Poland. The reigning world champions lost to Slovenia the same year in quarterfinals. Slovenia also triumphed in the 2017 playoff match in Krakow. Poland is still unbeaten at this edition of EuroVolley being powered by great support of their fans and their biggest stars Wilfredo Leon and Bartosz Kurek. Slovenia lost their opening match to Czech Republic in Ostrava, but in the quarterfinal led by Toncek Stern, they took revenge on the hosts, beating them in straight sets.
· Poland and Slovenia meet for the fifth time at the European Championships. Poland's only win came in their first meeting, 3-1 in the 2015 group stage.
· Slovenia won the last three meetings at EuroVolley: 3-2 in the 2015 quarter-finals, 3-0 in a 2017 playoff match for the quarter-finals, and 3-1 in the 2019 semi-finals.
· These teams met twice in the 2021 Volleyball Nations League. Slovenia won 3-1 in the preliminary round and Poland 3-0 in the semi-finals. Poland eventually finished runners-up to Brazil.
· In August 2019, Poland defeated Slovenia 3-1 at the intercontinental qualification tournament for the 2020 Olympic Games. Poland finished top of their group because of that win and qualified for Tokyo, where they lost in the quarterfinals.
· Poland are hoping to reach the final of the European Championships for the third time, after 1977 (runners-up) and 2009 (champions).
· Poland also finished in the top-two in 1975, 1979, 1981 and 1983 (all runners-up), in editions with a final pool to determine the champions.
· Poland have won 15 of their last 16 matches at the European Championships, including each of their last eight since a 3-1 defeat to Slovenia in the 2019 semi-finals.
· The final of EuroVolley 2021 will be played in Katowice, Poland. Only one of the last 11 European Championships was won by a team playing the final on a home court. That was Italy's triumph at the 2005 event, defeating Russia 3-2 in the final in Rome.
· Wilfredo Leon Venero (93) is Poland's leading point scorer at EuroVolley 2021. He collected a team-high 116 points in the 2019 edition.
· Piotr Nowakowski (25) has scored the most points from blocks in the final round of this tournament, already more than any player in the 2019 final round (22 by Ukraine's Yurii Semeniuk). The most recent player to win more points from blocks at a EuroVolley (final round) was Russia's Dmitriy Muserskiy (28 in 2013).
· Fabian Drzyzga is leading this year's setter ranking in the final round on an efficiency of 60.7%.
· Slovenia are hoping the reach the EuroVolley final for the third time in the last four editions, after 2015 (runners-up) and 2019 (runners-up). They had not finished higher than eighth in their other six participations.
· Slovenia can become the first team since Italy in 2003 to win the European title after finishing runners-up at the previous edition.
· In each of the previous three European Championships, Slovenia's tournament ended with a defeat against the eventual winners: France in 2015, Russia in 2017 and Serbia in 2019.
· Tonček Stern (90) has won the most points for Slovenia in the final round of this tournament. In the 2019 edition, Tine Urnaut (115) finished as Slovenia's top scorer.
· Dejan Vincic is ranked among the best setters in this year's final round on an efficiency of 55.3%.
Michał KUBIAK #13
"We have lost the three last games at EuroVolley against Slovenia, but I am sure our supporters will help us to get the result we want today."
Poland - Captain
"We are ready and we will do our best. It will be a full gym, with an amazing atmosphere but we need to play our best possible Volleyball when the ball is on our side of net right from the first whistle to the last."
Captain - Slovenia
Wilfredo LEON VENERO
The Cuban-born volleyball superstar debuted in his home country’s senior national team at an extremely young age of 14. Leon, regarded by some as the best player in the world, was able to join Team Poland in 2019. Apart from world and continental level medals and even more individual awards, he is a holder of some impressive records, including 13 aces in one game in a 2021 VNL match against Serbia
First RefereeVlastimil KOVARCZESecond RefereeVladimir SIMONOVICSRB
Spodek is an iconic landmark of Katowice that was built 50 years ago. The Spodek Arena and its additional facilities and usable surfaces form a multi-functional complex that spans nearly 7 hectares. 11,000 visitors can fit into the tribunes of the Spodek Arena for top level sports events or concerts. In 2019 Spodek hosted the largest e-sports event, Intel Extreme Masters, attracting a record turnout of 178,000 spectators. Positioned in the very heart of the city, next to the Spodek Sports and Entertainment Arena, an exceptional new area has been created. The Culture Zone consists of culture and entertainment centres, including the Spodek Arena, the International Conference Centre, the new seat of the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra and the new Silesian Museum. Capacity: 11500
How To Attend
Al. Korfantego 35, KATOWICE, 40-951 Capacity: 11500
The Spodek Arena is located 30km away from the Katowice International Airport in Pyrzowice. It takes around 30 min. to get to the airport by car. Numerous car parks located near the Spodek Arena make the facility comfortable to use. You can get to the Spodek Arena from the PKP railway station in Katowice by foot in 15 min. (2.5km), or by tram from the Katowice Dworzec PKP stop, taking trams T2, T11, T13, T23, T43 to the Katowice Rondo stop (8 min.) The nearest KZK GOP tram and bus stops for the Spodek Arena are the Katowice Rondo, Katowice Spodek, or Katowice Uniwersytecka stops. Get directions
Addressul. Puławska 383 WARSAW
- All Time
Poland getting ready to start today's match agaisnt Slovenia
Amazing view of the court through the screen of telephones
Wilffedo Leon practicing attacking during the warm up
Warming up - Možič Rok's attacks
Over ten thousand people in the stands of the Spodek in Katowice
Michal Kubiak spikes and Jan Kozamernik tries to stop him
Polish double block - Nowakowski and Drzyzga try to stop Slovenian spike
Polish libero Paweł Zatorski celebrates
MSF-01-POLAND vs SLOVENIA
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Slovenia do it again!
After defeating Russia in the quarter-final, the host of the EuroVolley 2021, team Poland, battled against the national team of Slovenia for a place in the grand finale. Playing at home, in Spodek Arena in Katowice, the Polish players had a chance to take revenge on their Slovenian opponents, who in 2019 stopped any shot at a trophy by beating them in the semi-final match. It couldn’t happen again, could it?
The match was a really tough fight straight from the beginning, firstly the team of Slovenia managed to build a two-points advantage (7-5), but lost it as fast as they gained it, letting Poland immediately secure a five-point lead (127). The head coach of Slovenia, Alberto Giuliani, tried everything he could with the substitutions and the time-outs to get his team back on track, but Poland were already going towards a victory in the opening part (25-17).
In the second set Slovenia took the lead thanks to a great run of services from their outside spiker Klemen Cebulj (6-3). The players of Vital Heynen’s team quickly made it to a tie (13-13), but after the loss in the first set, Slovenia were strongly determined to add this part to their name (19-16). Unexpectedly it took much time to confirm the second part’s winner, but finally it was Slovenia who scored the last point (32-30).
The third part was the show of all Slovenia’s stengths and they were on fire, in just a few minutes the team secured a significant advantage (13-5) and easily drove it until the end of the set and became one step closer to the grand final of the tournament (25-16).
In the fourth set the reigning World Champions were on the edge of extending the curse of losing against Slovenia in EuroVolley matches (6-3). Supported by thousands of fans, Poland managed to take the lead again (15-11), but after an unbelievable pursuit Slovenia were level (25-25) and after a run of side-outs mixed in with challenges the hosts were defeated 35-37, and with it lost the match 1-3.
"The games against Poland are always the big battles and you don't play such matches every day. It was a hard match, but we played as a team, all six or rather seven players played one for all, all for one. But what is the key to victories against Poland? I don't know, but it's somehow like a ritual, but we are definitely happy that we won over Poland in front of their 12-13 thousands of fans, now we have to prepare and recover ahead of the next match."
opposite of Slovenia
"Slovenia dominated in every element as a team and with their individual players. They just played better, so congratulations to them. "
opposite of Poland
The match in numbers
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of POLAND compared to SLOVENIA.
POLAND number of service aces compared to SLOVENIA
Errors leading to points of POLAND, next to those from SLOVENIA