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2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship

 Match info | Description
Poland claim first place in Pool F with Serbia win

Poland's oustanding player, Bartosz Kurek, towers over the Serbian block
Trieste, Italy, September 27, 2010 – This much-awaited meeting of two of the strongest teams in international Volleyball did not produce the battle thousands of fans had hoped for as Serbia slumped to a 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23) loss to Poland at the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship in Trieste, Italy.

With the win, Poland secured first place in Pool F and will now move to Ancona for the next round. Thanks to their points' ratio the Serbians also advance to the second stage as second best in the group and will head to Milan. A total of 6,600 spectators were counted tonight in the arena, another all-time record for the Palatrieste, bringing the total up to 33,000 in three days of competition.

There was continuous cheering in the arena as Poland built a 14-6 lead over Ivan Miljkovic and Co by the first technical timeout (FTT). Both coaches had lined up their regular and best starting six with Poland's Daniel Castellani opting for Piotr Gruszka – voted MVP at the 2009 European Championship in Turkey – as his opposite, looking to his stellar international experience and sterling power. Gruszka is a familiar and popular face here in Trieste as he played for local side Adriavolley a few years ago.

After the second break, Serbia began to let errors creep into their game especially from the wings, forcing captain Nikola Grbic to set most of the balls for his most experienced attacker, Miljkovic. The boys in red and white did not slow down their rhythm, however, and they tied up the first set after Dragan Stankovic served into the net.

Grbic searched for more combinations in the second set to try and find a way through the Polish block but the bronze medallists from this year's World League still went into the FTT behind. With Serbia struggling for consistency, Poland kept on scoring to open up a six-point lead and Michal Winiarski put the cherry on the cake with a delicious lob from the back row to clinch the set 25-18.

A flurry of mistakes affected the Serbian performance in the third set but Poland were also showing less consistency than before, with their attacks getting more and more predictable for Grbic's side. Castellani changed both his opposite and setter and called two timeouts in a row to try and disrupt Serbia's momentum run but it had no effect as Bojan Janic closed with a crosscourt from the left wing to make sure Serbia finished Pool F in second place.

Zbigniew Bartman widened the gap in the fourth set with his sterling jump serve. The men in blue made one final attempt to stretch the match to the tie-break tying at 22 and 23 but Bartman scored a massive pipe before Patryk Czarnowski finished it with a thundering ace.

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