It was a tough battle at the net but eventually Poland prevailed, beating Korea 17-15 in the fifth set.
Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2010 – Poland earned their fourth win of the FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 in dramatic style at Yoyogi Gymnasium in Tokyo on Saturday, edging Korea in five sets 3-2 (12-25, 25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 17-15).
The victory sees Poland join Korea on two wins and two defeats, taking into account their results from the first round against fellow Pool E teams.
FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page
The Poles, who have now beaten Korea eight times in 11 encounters, sit level with Turkey, Korea and Serbia in the section, knowing that with three games still remaining in the second round, they have every chance of reaching the top four semifinals, depending on other results. Both sides relied on their top scorers in the tournament with Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale scoring 28 for Poland and Yeon-Koung Kim 27 for Korea.
Milena Sadurek started off the match by planting Poland's first serve into the net, and Korea's Dae-Young Jung then blocked Anna Werblinska before Youn-Joo Hwang placed a nice shot through the Polish defence. The momentum was definitely Korea's in the early stages and this was underscored by two great blocks from Jung on Joanna Kaczor and Berenika Okuniewska that gave her side an 8-3 lead at the First Technical Timeout (FTT).
Poland coach Jerzy Matlak called a timeout as his team started to make mistakes and fell 12-5 behind. A mis-hit shot by Katarzyna Zaroslinska gave Korea a nine-point lead at the Second Technical Timeout (STT) and this was widened even further by good work by Hwang and YK Kim, who made a terrific block on Zaroslinska. YK Kim came up with three more big hits, with the last bringing up a set-point that she duly converted with a service ace.
Poland struck back at the beginning of the second set, Katarzyna Gajgal and Karolina Kosek sharing the first four points and prompting Korean coach Sam-Ryong Park to call a timeout. That seemed to settle Korea down and, as errors crept into the Polish game, the Asians started to match their opponents. YK Kim came up with a couple of good spikes, the second of which pulled her team level at 6-6. The two teams were all-square at 11-11 before Werblinska got the Poles moving with a service ace. Kosek came up with two good spikes and a block on Hwang as Poland moved three points clear at the STT. Successive Polish blocks then brought up set-point and when Song-Yi Han sent a spike long, parity was restored.
Poland jumped out of the starting blocks in the third with a service ace by Werblinska and a powerful thump from Kosek, but that momentum was lost when Werblinska served into the net. Glinka-Mogentale started getting in on the action and with an instinctive reaction save, which she followed up with a spike, Poland gained a three-point lead. Agnieszka Bednarek-Kasza started to find her spiking range and also came up with a block on Han as the Europeans eased ahead, thanks in no small part to their strong defence. With a 21-12 lead, Werblinska guided them home, bringing up set-point with a well-placed shot and delivering a blistering serve that the Koreans could not handle.
The fourth set swung both ways in the early stages. Matlak called a timeout as the Koreans moved into a three-point lead at 6-3, but Glinka-Mogentale helped Poland draw level with two strong hits, and they then found themselves ahead at 9-7 after two spiking errors by Hwang. However, two spiking errors by Werblinska at the other end allowed Korea to go back in front and Matlak hauled his players off court again.
Kosek produced successive winners but the Poles were still behind and a long shot by the same player left Korea three points ahead at the STT. With Poland still knocking at the Koreans' door, Park called a timeout at 14-13 and again at 17-17 when Myung-Ok Yim made the second of two quick service reception errors. YK Kim spiked Korea back into the lead though, and, try as they might, the Poles could not get back. A sharp first-time shot by Dae-Young Jung brought set-point and a spike by Han levelled the match at two sets each.
A pile-driver from Glinka-Mogentale set the Poles on a four-point run to start the fifth set, and although Hyo-Jin Yang stopped the rot she then put a serve into the net. At 6-2 in Poland's favour, Glinka-Mogentale also netted a serve and Korea drew to within a point on a monster smash by YK Kim and a sensational block by the same player on Gajgal. Yang matched her teammate with a fine block on Aleksandra Jagielo that drew the two teams level at 7-7, but big hits by Glinka-Mogentale and Kosek gave Poland the advantage again. With a slam by YK Kim, a defensive mix-up and a great block by Sa-Nee Kim, Korea went ahead but only briefly. The teams could not be separated until Werblinska brought up the Poles' third match point and Kosek then forced a spike through the block to end the match and break Korean hearts.