Pushed by more than 11,000 supporters in Gdańsk, the Europeans prevailed over the United States 3-1
Captain Bartosz Kurek lifts the trophy in front of his teammates
One of the most accomplished national teams in international men’s volleyball, Poland experienced a unique moment on Sunday, when they got to celebrate their first Volleyball Nations League title in front of more than 11,000 of their home fans in Gdańsk.
Kaczmarek and Śliwka were the main Polish scorers in the gold medal match
The Europeans turned the electric atmosphere of the Ergo Arena into one of absolute joy with a 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-18) victory over the United States in the gold medal match of the fifth edition of the tournament that made the crowd erupt in celebration.
- Volleyball Nations League 2023 matches are available on demand on VBTV
Earlier on Sunday, Japan secured a fantastic 3-2 (25-18, 25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 15-9) win over world champions Italy to make their first podium appearance in the VNL, finishing in third place to take bronze.
The Polish triumph in Gdańsk rewards one of the most competitive national teams in the VNL history as, outside from the inaugural edition, in 2018, when they were fifth, the Europeans appeared on the podium in every season, taking silver in 2021 and bronze in 2019 and 2022.
The victory against the Americans also highlighted the depth of the Polish roster, which has six players who helped the country win its third world title in 2018.
A backup during most of the team’s campaign, opposite Łukasz Kaczmarek replaced the injured team captain Bartosz Kurek in a great way, leading the team’s scoring efforts in the gold medal match. The 29-year-old opposite was unstoppable and became the match’s top scorer with 25 points (23 kills, one block, one ace).
“It’s really amazing to win such an important title at home, with this atmosphere and in front of these fans,” Kaczmarek reflected. “We dedicate the victory to them because they’re the best. I didn’t expect to have such a good performance and it’s really amazing for my career….