On Thursday night and even Thursday night because the match was going on forever, Polish national volleyball team He defeated USA 3:2 (25:20, 27:25, 21:25, 22:25, 15:12) in the World Championship quarter-finals. Once again, he was in the starting lineup Alexander ŚliwkaWhich many wanted to see in the spare group before. liwka was one of the heroes of the meeting. The coach has proven Nicholas Grbich He was right when he placed his bet on him.
Łukasz Jachimiak: I saw you sharing your joy with your dad right after the match. Nice moment, congratulations.
Alexander Ilyuka: Yes, he was the closest to me in the game. It is very important for each of us that our families are in the stands and that they can experience these tremendous feelings with us. This time they were the biggest you could possibly imagine. After something like that, it’s great to be able to cuddle up to your loved one, and thank them for being there. I felt their support very much.
Was your brother also in the stands and learning volleyball at the world’s highest level?
naturally. My brother is taking his first steps in his graduation career RetinaAlthough it is still young. He was very emotional about this match.
How do you feel? The Americans sent you 39 licks, attacked you 21 times and served you 13 times. You were probably the busiest player in this marathon match.
I’m tired and I think that shows me. In fact, I almost passed out, I could barely stand up. But I am very happy. I hope that thanks to exhaustion I fall asleep quickly, although the feelings are enormous.
Do you agree that you need such a successful match? To fill the mouths of critics – some of us, journalists, some fans? Surely it was up to you and it hurts?
What can I say? I do my job. Like I said before – the most important thing for me is what’s going on inside the team. The coach and the team believe in me. Likewise, I believe in every player – and who plays and who doesn’t. You can’t see exactly what’s going on inside our team. The coach focuses on these players and not the others, and we have amazing depth in the team. I think he’s been showing up from the start of the tournament. Everyone who enters the court adds quality to our volleyball. I think this is our big advantage. And that’s what we have to focus on, that we have 14 great players and that when there are so many changes everyone contributes something great. Let’s focus on the positive.
Thanks to team depth, did you beat the Americans even after they ended up 0:2 into the tiebreak?
Yes, of course. Also thanks to the fact that the fans gave us a lot of energy for the decisive set. In groups three and four we had low energy, and in group five we all wanted so much – us on the court and all the people in the stands – that we were able to move mountains.
And what did Nikola Grbich tell you? He is a coach known for his good psychological style. Can you tell me how I prepare you to break the tie?
We talked about tactical matters, about staying focused on your game and fighting. I do not remember in detail, because the feelings were enormous.
I finished this match. Do you remember the last ball? Did you know it was a game when you were preparing to attack?
There is a big screen above us where you can see everything, so I knew it was a football match.
I ask because, for example, Iga Świątek, whom you support, sometimes does not know what the outcome will be.
yes, sometimes With great focus and great emotions, you don’t look at the score, you just play, do your own things, focus on specific tasks. This is how you avoid stress. But I knew it was a game. And I first tried to serve because I knew Aaron Russell was playing in my or the vicinity. The ball flew into my area, I tried to accept the appropriate parabola Grzesiek Łomacz He can play anything Micah Christenson He entered “Bie” [Mateusza Bieńka]so I had practically one block and only finished what Grzesiek did really well.
When you won the Champions League final with Zaxa last year and were recognized as the best player, you said you imagined such matches as a kid. Who from the United States is the kind you’ve always dreamed of?
naturally. During the day, I tried to imagine what it would all look like. Before this match I felt a lot of tension. Because it was a very important match. But sometimes a lot of stress pushes you into intense focus. This was the case this time and I am very happy with that.
Does that tension go away when you step out onto the stadium, or does it get worse when you see and hear 12,000 people in the stands?
The biggest stress is during the day when you’re waiting impatiently to see what’s going on on the pitch. And when I was on the court, I was calm and focused and just doing my job.
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