USA (USA) vs. Poland (POL) women - Pool 5 - Preliminary Phase #5346618

Poland and USA are among the eight national teams that will be on the court in Łódź

The biggest moment of the year is right around the corner for volleyball women’s national teams around the world as from Saturday, September 16, to the following Sunday, September 24, six spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be in play.

The Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will be held simultaneously in three locations around the planet and six of the 24 national teams in action will confirm their presence at next year’s event in the French capital.

  • Watch all the matches of the Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament on VBTV.

The Polish city of Łódź will host Pool C, where eight teams will compete for two spots at the next edition of the Games. Here’s all the information you need about it:

The participating teams

Besides hosts Poland, the United States, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Colombia, Korea and Slovenia will play in Łódź, with four continents represented in the pool. All inside the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Ranking top seven, Poland, the United States and Italy are the three favorites to qualify, but some other teams have the potential to be dark horses in the event. Despite having heavily renovated their squad recently, Thailand are on the rise and triumphed at the Asian Championship just a few weeks ago. Germany have arguably their most talented generation in quite some time and qualified for the Volleyball Nations League Finals for the first time less than three months ago and could also cause an upset.

The opening day

Pool C’s schedule will feature seven matchdays, each of them featuring four encounters. The opening match on Saturday will see Olympic champions USA meeting Colombia at 11:30 local time (09:30 UTC). In the afternoon, Germany and Thailand will clash at 14:30 local time (12:30 UTC) and Poland will meet Slovenia at 17:30 local time (15:30 UTC). The last match of the day will reunite Italy and Korea, starting at 20:45 local time (18:45 UTC).

Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament - Match Schedule

Germany (GER) vs. Thailand (THA) women - Pool 4 - Preliminary Phase #4962637

Germany and Thailand will face off on the opening day in Poland

The big stars

Some of the main stars of international volleyball will be in action in Łódź, including several Olympic champions who were called up by head coach Karch Kiraly to be a part of the American squad. That includes Tokyo Olympics MVP Jordan Larson, who will return to international competition for the first time in two years, middle blocker Haleigh Washington and opposites Annie Drews and Jordan Thompson. Poland will try to build from the core that gave the team its first VNL medal and will have star setter Joanna Wolosz back from injury to join opposite Magdalena Stysiak and middle blocker Agnieszka Korneluk. Italy will also field a strong squad, led by outside hitter Myriam Sylla and middle blocker Anna Danesi. Germany’s Hannah Orthmann and Thailand’s Chatchu-On Moksri are two outside hitters with game-changing potential. The Thais will also have an exciting return of their own in star setter Nootsara Tomkom.

The key matches

With Poland, USA and Italy standing out as the favorites to claim the two spots in play, the matchups between those national teams should be critical for the outcome of Pool C. The first of the three encounters between the pool’s top teams will take place on September 22, when Italy and the United States play at 20:45 local time (18:45 UTC). The next day, at 17:30 local time (15:30 UTC), Poland will play the Americans. On the final day of the event, Poland and Italy will battle at 20:30 local time (18:30 UTC) in an all-European encounter.

The fans

Polish fans are known to be among the most passionate and energetic in international volleyball, but those who can’t make the trip to Łódź can also follow the action as every match will be streamed live on VBTV. For those interested in acquiring official products to support their favorite national teams, Volleyball World Store got you covered.