Poland (POL) vs. Brazil (BRA) men - Quarterfinals #5931372

Śliwka beats the Brazilian block to score a point during the quarterfinals

The home fans will be able to follow and support Poland until the last day of the Volleyball Nations League 2023 as the hosts qualified for the semifinals of the tournament on Thursday, in Gdańsk.

Playing with the support of a packed Ergo Arena, the Europeans won an exciting battle with Brazil, topping the South Americans 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-20) to claim the fourth and last spot in the semifinals of the fifth edition of the event.

  • Watch Volleyball Nations League 2023 Finals live on VBTV

In the semifinals, on Saturday, the Poles will play Japan, who prevailed over Slovenia 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-22) in the first quarterfinal encounter held in Gdańsk on Thursday. The bronze and gold medal matches will be held on Sunday.

The Poles have three podium appearances in the VNL, having finished second in 2021 and third in 2018 and 2022, and will fight for their first title in the tournament.

Outside hitter Aleksander Śliwka was a key player in the Polish victory as besides playing a major role in the team’s serve-receive system, he also led the team’s offense with 16 points. The left-handed outside hitter had 12 kills, two blocks and two aces in the match against the Brazilians.

“We feel great,” Śliwka commented. “Playing here in Gdańsk is such an honor, our fans are amazing. We wanted to present them a great show, but also to win, of course. We achieved every goal we had today and we’re happy about it. We started a bit nervous, but we overcame the difficult moments, came back quickly and did a great job.”

Poland (POL) vs. Brazil (BRA) men - Quarterfinals #5931367

Polish players celebrate a point in front of their home fans at the Ergo Arena

Fellow outside hitter Wilfredo Leon, with 11 points (six kills, three blocks, two aces), and middle blocker Mateusz Bienieck, with ten (six kills, four aces), were other individual standouts in the Polish triumph.

Opposite Alan de Souza carried the Brazilian offense with 15 points (14 kills, one ace), followed by outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli, who got ten points with seven kills, one block and two aces.

With each team giving up 20 points in errors to their opponents, Poland earned the victory by outscoring Brazil in kills (37 to 35), blocks (ten to five) and aces (nine to five).

Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results

The other semifinal of the VNL 2023, which will also be played on Saturday, will reunite the United States, who knocked out defending champions France with a 3-2 (25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 24-26, 15-9) win, and world champions Italy, who overcame Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists Argentina with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-14) victory on Wednesday.

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