The Spodek Hall in Katowice is the venue of the semi-final showdown between Poland and Germany in the FIVB World Championship this evening.
The Poles reached the medal round of this competition after topping Pool H of the second round. The hosts actually finished tied with Brazil with four points but had a superior record having beaten the three-time defending world champions earlier.
All eyes will be on Mariusz Wlazly after he delivered 28 points in their five-set victory over Russia in their final Pool H fixture.
Team captain Michal Winiarski, Michal Kubiak, Mateusz Mika and Karol Klos are the other scoring options for head coach Stephane Antiga.
“We were very excited all day long, now we feel great happiness. We felt a big pressure because there were high expectations not only from the fans, but also from ourselves,” Winiarski told fivb.org.
“Our dream came true, we are going to Katowice. Now we’re dreaming of playing in the finals.”
Poland won its only world title in 1974 and finished runner-up to Brazil in 2006.
Germany, meanwhile, finished second to France in Pool G to progress to the semifinal of this tournament for the first time as a unified nation. East Germany won the world championship in 1970.
György Grozer is the focal point of the Germans’ attack and the Hungarian-born spiker will get support from Denys Kaliberda, Marcus Böhme and Jochen Schöps.