Volleyball Nations League 2022 Calgary Women - NEDvsCAN - 030

After finishing fourth in 2018, the Dutch will be looking to make their first podium appearance this year

Playing 'at home' certainly helped at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022, with co-hosts Poland and Slovenia both making it to the semifinals. When the women start competing for the 2022 world title, on September 23, the national teams of the Netherlands and Poland will certainly aim to do as well.

While the Dutch will hope to improve on a fourth-place finish in 2018, and secure their first-ever World Championship medal, the Poles will make a push to return to the podium for the first time in 60 years, after they won bronze in 1956 and 1962, and silver in 1952.

· Watch all FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

Led by Avital Selinger, the Netherlands team will feature several players who also played during their successful campaign four years ago. One of them is outside hitter Anne Buijs, now the team captain, and one the most recognisable players on the Dutch team.

Selinger will also rely on setters Laura Dijkema and Britt Bongaerts. Both have plenty of international experience and their presence on the squad makes it possible for the Dutch national team to play at different tempos and retain a high level of execution, regardless of who plays.

Offensively, opposite Celeste Plak, the team’s top scorer at the 2022 Volleyball Nations League, and outside hitters Nika Daalderop and Fleur Savelkoel will be ready to split the scoring load with Buijs. Selinger also has good options in the middle with Eline Timmerman and at the libero position with Myrthe Schoot.

The Netherlands are in Pool A in Phase 1 of the tournament, and will play Kenya, Cameroon, Puerto Rico, Belgium and Italy in Arnhem. They are currently in tenth place in the FIVB World Rankings.

Poland, on the other hand, will be returning to the World Championship for the first time since 2010, when they finished ninth. The tournament will offer a great opportunity for the Poles to move up from their current 13th place in the World Rankings.

Star setter Joanna Wolosz could be a game changer for the team led by Italian head coach Stefano Lavarini. The 32-year-old playmaker has been tremendously successful at the club level with Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano and has returned to the national team this season after sitting out in 2021.

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Opposite Magdalena Stysiak, 22, is a high-scoring player and will lead the team’s offence while 1.99m-tall middle blocker Agnieszka Korneluk (formerly Kakolewska) is a formidable blocker and one of the best at her position in international volleyball.

The Polish campaign in the 2022 VNL also saw some younger players step up. Among them 22-year-old libero Maria Stenzel, who was one of the tournament's best, and 25-year-old outside hitter Olivia Rozanski, who was the team’s top scorer and showed she is ready for the highest level of competition.

Poland will open their Pool B campaign in Arnhem against Croatia and will then move to Gdańsk, where they will face Thailand, Korea, the Dominican Republic and Türkiye.