Shen (CHN) spikes against Plinski and Zagumny (POL)
Saitama, Japan, November 17, 2006: World No. 8 Poland kicked off their Pool A challenge with a comfortable 3-0 victory over China at Saitama Super Arena on Friday afternoon.
The Poles had too much pace, power and experience for the 14th-ranked Chinese and won in straight sets 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 to make a perfect start to their campaign.
China's captain, Sui Shengsheng, got the 2006 FIVB World Championship for men under way, and Poland's Lukasz Kadziewicz scored the first point with a powerful spike at the net.
Sebastian Swiderski was quick to show off his attacking prowess, notably when he swooped from the back court and pierced the Chinese defence with a vicious spike.
China were looking strong at the net with Wang Haichuan, and captain Sui displayed his athleticism and sense of adventure with a bold spike on the run which was touched by a Polish defender to give China a well-deserved point.
There were few rallies as the teams traded hefty blows, from 8-7 Poland at the first TTO to 16-15 Poland at the second technical break. Daniel Plinski brought up his team's 16th point with another thumping winner at the net that the Chinese defence had no possibility of retrieving.
Kadziewicz and Swiderski scored successive points to push Poland ahead by three at 20-17, and a crisp spike from the left by Michal Winiarski made it 22-18 and sent China into a TO. Winiarski brought up set point at 24-20, and Kadziewicz thought he had finished it with a service ace, but the effort was called out.
There was no doubt about the next point, though, as Shen Qiong served tamely into the net to hand Poland the first set 25-21.
China's block improved in the second set, especially on Plinski, and this forced setter Pawel Zagumny to switch flanks for Mariusz Wlazly to fire home down the right side. Yu Dawei gave China the most slender of advantages, 8-7, at the first TTO with a smash at the net, but they could not open up a lead of any significance as the set progressed.
Whenever China scored, Poland replied almost immediately, and the Asians' lead remained at one, 16-15, at the second technical break. Swiderski returned to batter two superb winners on the left, and force a China TO as they fell behind 17-16.
An arms-out, soccer-style airplane celebration from Shen followed another impressive Chinese winner, but the Polish block proved decisive down the stretch and they took the second set 25-20.
Poland started the third set with no hint of taking their foot off the gas. They were going for the quick kill, and the scoreboard flew along, 8-6 at the first TTO.
An awesome leap and angled spike from Swiderski had the crowd gasping, and Kadziewicz followed up with a crunching block to keep the Poles in control.
A breakdown in attack allowed China to come back to 11-11, and Tang Miao kept the Poles thinking as China stayed in touch.
Marisuz Wlazly was a constant thorn in the side of the Chinese team with his varied attack, and China called a TO after conceding three straight points from the second TTO to trail 18-16.
The Poles looked much sharper all round, despite China's flying defence, and closed out the third set 25-21 for 3-0.