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Pool D: Bieniek leads scoring as Poland get job done and start packing for Tokyo

 
Poland's Mateusz Bieniek led scoring for his team with 12 points against Slovenia
Gdansk, Poland, August 11, 2019 – Hosts Poland survived a first-set scare against Slovenia in the last match of Pool D of Tokyo Volleyball Qualification to master a 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-21) victory and claim the first place in the pool standings unbeaten. Even winning one set was enough for the world champions to secure their trip to the 2020 Olympics and join Argentina and hosts Japan on the list of 12 participants. Slovenia’s Klemen Cebulj set the match high at 20 points.

France managed a 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22) win over Tunisia in Sunday’s first game in Gdansk. Tunisia’s Hamza Nagga was the best scorer of that match with 23 points to his name.

Pre-match stats:

Poland - Slovenia (August 11, 2019) 
Head-to-Head
·    Poland and Slovenia meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
·    These nations never met in major world level competitions (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
·    Poland and Slovenia played each other three times at the European championship. Poland won 3-1 in the 2015 group stage, while Slovenia won 3-2 in the 2015 quarter-finals and 3-0 in the 2017 play-offs for the quarter-finals.

Poland
·    Poland dismissed Tunisia on Friday and France on Saturday. Both wins came in straight sets.
·    Poland could become the fourth NOC to qualify for the Olympic Games at least 10 times, after Brazil (14), Italy (11) and United States (11) (all excluding 2020).
·    Poland participated in each of the last four Olympic Games, finishing in joint-fifth place in all of those editions.
·    Poland lost only one of their last 18 matches in the world Olympic qualification tournament, a 3-1 defeat against Iran in 2016.
·    Poland had no points from the bench against France on Saturday; only the six starters contributed points-wise. Wilfredo Leon Venero (17) scored most points for the team.
·    Mateusz Bieniek and Piotr Nowakowski had four stuff blocks each on Saturday, most of all players on court.

Slovenia

·    Slovenia bounced back with a 3-0 win over Tunisia after their 3-0 opening defeat against France.
·    Slovenia have yet to appear in the men's tournament at the Olympic Games.
·    Toncek Šternwas Slovenia's leading scorer against France (12 points) and Tunisia (19).
·    Jan Kozamernik accounted for three of his team's four serve winners against Tunisia. Klemen Cebulj scored the other.

France - Tunisia (August 11, 2019) 

Head-to-Head
·    France and Tunisia meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
·    France won all eight meetings with Tunisia in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
·    Two of their eight encounters came at the Olympic Games. France won 3-0 in the 1988 group stage and 3-1 in the 2004 group stage.
·    France and Tunisia's encounter at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is their most recent at world level.
·    These nations met once at a European championship, in 1958 (before Africa had a solid volleyball structure). France won that encounter 3-0.

France
·    After beating Slovenia 3-0 in Gdansk on Friday, France lost 3-0 to Poland on Saturday.
·    France could still qualify for their fifth Olympic Games, after 1988, 1992, 2004 and 2016. Their best result was an eighth place in 1988.
·    No Frenchman reached double figures in scoring in the match against Poland on Saturday. Stephen Boyer (9 points) was their most prolific scorer.
·    France's 43 points against Poland (excluding 17 opponent errors) were shared between nine players, who all scored at least two points.

Tunisia
·    Tunisia lost both matches in pool D in straight sets, against hosts Poland and against Slovenia.
·    Mohamed Ayech (11) and Hamza Nagga (10) reached double figures in scoring against Slovenia on Saturday.
·    Ayech won a match-high four stuff blocks in Gdansk on Friday, while Nagga led his team in serve winners with three.

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