Ningbo, China, August 28, 2010 - Poland defeated Japan in four sets on Saturday to capture their first win in the FIVB World Grand Prix finals.
The Poles, who are making their second appearance in the World GP finals, won the match by a scoreline of 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22 for a 1-3 win-loss record in the six-team round-robin tournament.
FIVB World Grand Prix
Poland jumped to 4-0 ahead as Japan started sluggishly in the first set. Although Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe called timeout twice within five minutes, the Asians made little improvement in receiving and setting. After pulling away to 16-7 at the second TTO, Poland guarded their lead well and finished the set on a spiking error by Saori Kimura.
With Kimura and Yukiko Ebata hitting better form in attacking, Japan seemingly got on the right track in the second set and held a slight lead of 16-13 at the second TTO. When Japan were 24-21 up, Ebata spiked from the left flank to close out the set.
In a close third set, scores were tied more than 10 times. The main weapon in Japan's attacking, Kimura spiked consistently for points. But when both sides were locked at 23-23, Poland earned the last two points on blocks to go 2-1 up in sets.
The fourth set was also a close affair. Poland held a slight lead (8-7) at the first TTO and then the lead changed hand several times. When Japan were 19-18 in front, Anna Baranska scored three points to lead a 5-2 run for Poland to go 23-21
ahead. After each team won a point, Karolina Kosek jumped high to smash the ball in the back court of Japan and seal the victory for Poland.