Sunday will determine the two spots available in Pool C of the Olympic Qualification Tournament for volleyball
After Saturday’s schedule concluded, Italy, the United States, and hosts Poland are all still in the hunt for two tickets to the Paris 2024 Games after Pool C of the Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The final decision will be reached on Sunday, when the United States is scheduled to face Germany, who is no longer in contention, at 17:30 local time (15:30 UTC), while Poland will face Italy at 20:30 local time (18:30 UTC).
Based on the tie-breakers, Italy is leading, the USA is second, and Poland is third with five wins and one loss. For the Americans to qualify, they need a win over the Germans, while Poland and Italy will be among the top two teams. There’s also a possibility that both European teams qualify.
Despite dropping to the bottom of the standings on Friday, Italy jumped to the top by winning 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-15), in what was arguably their best performance to date in the tournament. The Italians also recovered from their only upset on Friday by defeating the United States.
Ekaterina Antropova, 20, led the Italian team with 24 points (19 kills, three blocks, two aces) in her first international tournament with the team. The team captain, outside hitter Myriam Sylla, also reached double digits in scoring with 12 kills. With 17 kills and an ace, outside hitter Lena Stigrot led the Germans with 18 points.
Sylla said, “We played aggressively and with a lot of determination.” He added, “Tomorrow will be an exciting match against the home team with the fans’ support.” Our performance against Poland in the Volleyball Nations League didn’t go as planned, but this time we’ll do our best to qualify for Paris. This time, we’ll use the lessons we learned from that match.”
Poland secured a huge 3-1 victory against reigning Olympic champions the United States to stay in the race for qualification with the victory (27-25, 16-25, 25-23, 25-16).
With 25 points (20 kills, four blocks, and one ace), star opposite Magdalena Stysiak led the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Outside hitters Martyna Lukasic and Olivia Rozanski each contributed 12 points. Jordan Thompson, Jordan Larson, and Kelsey Robinson were the top American scorers, with 16, 15, and 14 points, respectively.
As middle blocker Magdalena Jurczyk commented, “I think we played better today than the Americans.”. “I think our character showed through today and we proved we can compete with anyone.”. Even though we lost a match (to Thailand) we came back, which is only possible with strong teams. We are confident about beating Italy tomorrow. We will fight for that goal.”
In the other tournament on Saturday, Slovenia won 3-2 over Colombia (25-17, 19-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-11) and Thailand won 3-0 over Korea (25-14, 25-16, 25-16). It was already too late for all four teams to compete for Olympic spots.
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