June 2, 2023

On Friday, September 23, at 18:00 in Arnhem, the Netherlands, the much-anticipated first whistle of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 is slated to be blown (16:00 GMT). The first of two matches on the first day of competition will take place at the majestic GelreDome stadium.

This match will also be the first of 100 games that will be played at the World Championship between now and October 15th. The second match on Friday will take place at local time 20:00 and will feature the Netherlands taking against Kenya (18:00 GMT).

The first two nations to compete in Pool B will be Poland and Croatia. On Saturday, the remaining four teams in the pool will enter the competition in Arnhem for games between Türkiye and Thailand and Dominican Republic and Korea. Both of these matches will take place on Saturday. Beginning on September 28 and continuing through October 1, the remaining round-robin matches for that pool will be played in the city of Gdansk in Poland.

Joanna Wolosz, Poland’s flamboyant setter and team captain, is at the helm of Coach Stefano Lavarini’s 14-player World Championship selection, while Magdalena Stysiak, Poland’s 21-year-old opposite, is anticipated to lead the offense and produce points. On the other side of the net, seasoned opposite Samanta Fabris is the team’s leading scorer under coach Ferhat Akbas, while 22-year-old middle Bozana Butigan will lead the Croatian team’s blocking efforts. Both players are part of the Croatian national volleyball team.

The last time Poland and Croatia played each other was during a Group 2 match at the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix. This match took place five years ago. The Poles cruised to a 3-0 victory (25-10, 25-9, and 25-18) with Wolosz at the helm of their offense as the offensive coordinator.

Poland has participated in ten of the last eighteen World Championships and has reached the top three on the podium three times; nevertheless, it has been sixty years since they last won a medal. They won the silver at the first competition, which was held in 1952, and the bronze in 1956 and 1962. At no point in history has Croatia ever won a medal at a World Championship. They competed in all three editions, but their best finish came in 1998 when they came in sixth place.

When they face Kenya in their opening encounter of Pool A on Friday evening, the Netherlands are the undeniable favorites to win. The games for that pool will all take place in Arnhem. Neighboring Belgium will compete against Puerto Rico on Saturday afternoon, while Italy will play Cameroon in the late afternoon of the same day. Up until the 2nd of October, the remaining fixtures are planned to take place.

The presence of experienced playmaker Laura Dijkema, who will be sharing setting responsibilities with Britt Bongaerts, is one of the highlights of coach Avital Selinger’s selection of 14 players for this World Championship for the Netherlands. While the home crowd will undoubtedly be the Netherlands’ ’15th player,’ this fact does not detract from the fact that the home crowd will be the Netherlands’ ’15th player.’ In order for Kenya to advance to the next round, its coach, Luizomar De Moura, will rely on the leadership of their 33-year-old captain, Mercy Moim, on the spiking prowess of their 23-year-old opposite, Sharon Chepchumba, and most importantly, on the team’s battling spirit.

The Netherlands prevailed against Kenya in both of their matches against one other in 2019, winning in straight sets on both occasions. They began by dominating a Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying match in Italy, winning 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, and 25-10) with scores of 25-10, 25-10, and 25-10. After that, they went to the FIVB Volleyball World Cup in Japan and won all three of their matches by scores of 25-12, 25-19, and 25-17.

The Netherlands have participated in as many as 14 of the previous iterations of the World Championship. Their greatest result to date was a fourth-place finish, which occurred four years ago. Kenya has participated in six World Championships, but they did not record their first ever win until their most recent visit in 2018, when they defeated Kazakhstan in a straight sets victory.

On Saturday, matches will be played to kick off the competition in Pools C (Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Kazakhstan, and the United States of America) and D (Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, and Japan). The top four teams in each group will move on to the next round of the event, which will consist of additional pool play and will be used to choose the eight teams that will compete in the quarterfinals.

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