2017 Jerzy Hubert Wagnera Memorial Tournament
- August 11th-13th, 2017
- Krakow, Poland
- Tournament Central
At the Jerzy Wagner Invitational Tournament in Poland, France fought their way past Poland in a tough five-set battle while Russia handled Canada in four. The event features four teams in total, with Poland always being a fixture as the hosts of the prestigious event.
Russia def. Canada
- 3-1, (25-23, 29-27, 22-25, 25-17)
The youth of the Canadian team showed in the match against Russia, as they played a tough match but lacked the experience to finish. In the first set, Canda led the Russians 8-6 but was not able to keep that lead, as Russia kept it close but forged ahead of the Canadians.
The Russian squad’s strong serve was difficult to handle for Canada, as it was a constant struggle throughout the match. After going up 2-0, the Russians could complete the sweep in the third, giving Canada hope to continue in the match. However, Russia stepped it up in the third to win by the largest margin in the match at 25-17 for the four-set win.
Russia is looking at this tournament as a warm-up, practice-like event for the European Championships that are coming up, with the teams’ captain, Sergey Grankin, saying, “This is a social event and it is not important to us. The most important for us is the European Championship we are preparing for.”
France def. Poland
- 3-2, (22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13)
Despite a slow start to the match, France was able to pick up their play in the final sets to take the opening match over Poland.
France dropped the first set 25-22 but found some momentum in the second and third sets to take the 2-1 match lead. They faltered again in the fourth set, which forced a fifth and deciding set between the hosts and the FIVB World League Champions. After a tough bout in the fifth, France topped the Polish crew for the first win of the competition.
“It is always nice to win. We made a lot of mistakes, but the key to victory was to get important points at the end of the game,” said Benjamin Toniutti, France’s team captain. The team had taken some time off since their World League victory, just recently regrouping in the gym 10 days ago.