In this year’s Memorial, Argentina and Germany with their respective FIVB Heroes Facundo Conte and Georg Grozer competed against Poland and Iran. Conte will soon meet Poland again in the group stage of the Olympics. But the Memorial, played in Zielona Gora in Poland, was dominated by the host team with tremendous support from its passionate fans.
On the first day Germany beat Argentina 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19). After two lost sets Facundo and his teammates rose to win a third set, but Georg Grozer successfully kept them from turning the game around. Later that day Poland easily dispatched Iran 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-22).
The second day saw an interesting encounter for Argentina against Iran – who have been coached by Argentine volleyball legend Julio Velasco since 2011. FIVB Hero Facundo Conte pulled it off and took his team to a 3-2 (25-16, 18-25, 25-22, 20-25, 17-15) victory. But the real clash of the titans was about to come in the match Poland v. Germany. The first set between Bartosz Kurek, Zibi Bartman and Georg Grozer finished with an epic score of 36-34! Germany put up a strong fight but stood no chance against Poland, who were even more fired up after winning that first, amazingly hard set. They sealed the deal with an indisputable 3-1 (36-34, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21) win.
The last day brought FIVB Hero Georg Grozer victory over Iran with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-20) match, earning the Germans a second-place overall finish in the tournament. Poland also managed to dominate Argentina in three sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-16) and grab the gold once again, relegating the South Americans to third place. Is it a lucky omen for London? We are about to find out!
Zibi Bartman was awarded the Best Spiker award, while Georg Grozer was named as Best Server. Bartosz Kurek can call himself MVP once more!
Congratulations to our Heroes, and we hope the Memorial helped all the teams to prepare for London.