Lodz, Poland, December 10, 2017 – Maurice Torres, the Puerto Rican opposite of Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle, is well aware that the upcoming FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship in Poland will be a tough challenge – not just for him and his team, but for all eight clubs participating in the tournament.
“No team qualified for the Club World Championship by accident and very fierce battles await us,” Torres said in an interview for the official Polish-language website
of the competition.
As the league champions of the host country, Zaksa will be playing in Pool A of the first stage of the Club World Championship, entertaining Italy’s Lube Civitanova, Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro Volei and Iran’s Sarmaye Bank in Opole, some 50 km away from their hometown of Kedzierzyn-Kozle.
“Our pool is very difficult indeed,” commented the 26-year-old player. “We can beat our rivals only if we perform at our full potential.”
Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle are not only the reigning champions of Poland, but also unbeaten leaders in the standings for the current season. They have 13 wins in 13 matches played so far and with 37 points they are four ahead of the other Polish participant in the Club World Championship, Skra Belchatow, who are at an 11-2 win-loss record.
But unlike the PlusLiga, Zaksa will not be the pre-tournament favourites at the Club World Championship and Torres was challenged to comment on that by the interviewer. “We will certainly do our best to reach the medal zone,” he answered. “But even just participating in such a big event is a great honour for us.”
Maurice Torres (#11) and his teammates face a tough task at the upcoming Club World Championship
The 2.01m-tall Puerto Rican is one of a small number of players who joined the Polish club before the beginning of this season, so he has had to adapt to his new team. “However, with players like Benjamin Toniutti, Sam Deroo or Pawel Zatorski, the process of acclimatization to the squad becomes much easier,” explained Torres. “I am very happy that I found my place so quickly.”