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Poland sink China to finish ninth

Poland's ninth place finish is an improvment on their 2006 result when they finished 15th.

Tokyo, Japan, November 14, 2010 - Poland defeated China in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) in a heavy-hitting match to earn ninth place at the FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday.

Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale top-scored for Poland with 19 points while Wang Yimei recorded 18 for China. The win reversed Poland's straight-sets loss to China in the second round and was only their fifth in 18 matches against the world No.3. While ninth place is an improvement for Poland on their 2006 performance when they finished 15th, for China 10th place marks their worst World Championship result since 1974 when they finished 14th and follows a fifth-placed finish in 2006.

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

Poland conceded a 3-1 lead at the start of the match but bounced back to go ahead 7-5 on a spike by Glinka-Mogentale. China missed two serves and Joanna Kaczor hit an ace to put Poland 14-11 up.  Li Juan scored after a long rally and Kaczor's spike sailed long to bring China closer at 15-13. Anna Werblinska then crushed a spike and although she netted a serve, Zhou Suhong missed long and Poland's lead was 17-14. The Poles used their ace Werblinska as a decoy and looked instead to Kaczor, who ruthlessly attacked China's Wang, who was hobbling on a bad knee. Wang was still able to use her long reach to dig out some big saves, though, and she smacked a winner from the right wing as China stayed within striking distance at 18-16.

China thought they had won another point only for a spike to bounce off Milena Sadurek's foot and back into play, forcing them to hit another winner. Poland's double-hit gifted China a point, shrinking the lead to one, and though Jerzy Matlak's team moved to 22-20 with a Kosek spike and a lucky net-chord serve, the Asian side were soon level at 22-all. If that gave hope to Yu Juemin's charges it was soon extinguished, however. Although Agnieszka Bednarek-Kasza served long on the Poles' first set-point, they won the next to take the set 25-23.

In the second set, China called a timeout early after falling behind 6-3. Poland continued to use Kaczor with success, and hammered their way to an 11-5 lead, forcing another China timeout as coach Yu sought to adjust to Poland’s tactics. Wang's tip and Werblinska's missed spike helped China crawl back to 11-7 and Werblinska then missed long again trying to go over a great wall of China blockers. Trying to stay a step ahead tactically, Poland altered their attack, looking more to Werblinska and Glinka-Mogentale, who smacked winners from the left wing to lift the Europeans into a 16-11 lead.

Zhou's dipping service ace brought China to 16-13 but Glinka-Mogentale's hits then restored Poland's healthy advantage at 18-13. The latter's spike, this time from the right wing, made it 19-14 before a Ma Yunwen block and a missed Polish serve gave China a glimmer of hope again at 20-16. Werblinska duly took command of the net and won three points to put Poland ahead 23-17, but China responded with three straight points on deflections, forcing Matlak to call a timeout. The coach's decision paid off as Glinka-Mogentale's placement found a gap in China's middle and her deflected spike gave Poland the set 25-21.

Poland took three straight points at the start of the third set before Xue Ming's block got China off the mark. The injured Wang, unable to elevate, smacked a serve into the net, while a healthier Werblinska did the same at the other end, to even the set at 5-5. Yang Jie's serve put China ahead at 8-7 but Sadurek's ace off the net then put Poland back in front at 10-9. Errors by Wei Qiuyue and Wang helped Poland extend their lead at 14-12 before Wang's thunderous spike got China back level at 14-all.

Yang bobbled a ball off the net, and Poland surged to 18-15 before Werblinska again served into the net. Although Glinka-Mogentale nailed a spike from the left, China restored parity once more at 19-all when Wang blocked Werblinska. Poland's greater options eventually told as they attacked through Glinka-Mogentale, Werblinka and Kaczor, while China were looking almost exclusively to Wang. Kaczor's missile from the right gave the Poles match point at 24-22 and Okuniewska's spike finished off the contest.

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