Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek (left) and Croatia coach Angelo Vercesi share not only a joust with the Mikasa ball, but Brazilian passports
Rome, Italy, September 25, 2014 - When Dominican Republic met Croatia Thursday evening in Pool A of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 in Rome, two Brazilians stood on the side as head coaches for both countries.
Marcos Kwiek, who has been with Dominican Republic for six years as their head coach, ended up the victor against his compatriot, Angelo Vercesi of Croatia. Dominican Republic won the first two sets, then Croatia came back to force a fifth set before Dominican Republic finished the lengthy match at 19-17 in the tiebreaker.
Kwiek said he is not surprised at facing another Brazilian coach on the sidelines not leading their own native country.
"For me it is not a surprise because there are a lot of good Brazilian coaches," Kwiek said. "This is not the first time we have played against another Brazilian coach, so it makes me happy that there are a lot of Brazilians coaching working every where."
Kwiek has enjoyed working with the Dominican Republic squad, including leading them to the 2012 Olympic Games.
"I like working in Dominican Republic," Kwiek said. "They gave me the opportunity to work there. For me it is not just coaching. I think I am making a difference, doing something positive for a poor country which does not know much about volleyball. I think it is getting better. It makes me proud to be part of this, that something is growing in this country and seeing all these young girls that are getting word about volleyball.
Niverka Dharlenis Marte Frica says that Kwiek brings something different to her country in leading the program.
"It is different," Marte said. "Our Dominican coaches, since they arrived in my country, especially me, have learned alot from him."
For Croatia coach Angelo Vercesi, he has only been with the program since this year. He feels Croatia is on the right path for success.
"Dominican Republic is a very good team and they are used to playing in these matches. They play a lot of international competition, and often they go far in this events. Coach Kwiek has a team that has played together for him for six years, I have been with Croatia for only a few months."
To open the World Championship, Croatia has face three teams ranked in the top 10 in the world - No. 4 Italy, No. 9 Germany and No. 10 Dominican Republic. Prior to their match with Dominican Republic, Croatia pushed Italy hard in the first set before losing 26-24 and in three sets.
"Tuesday we won a set (versus Germany) and today we have won two sets (versus Dominican Republic). Next time we wish to play well to win the match."