La Guaira, Venezuela, June 19, 2009 - Poland came from
behind twice to defeat Venezuela 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 20-25, 27-25, 15-11) in the
first game of the two-game series at the Polideportivo José María Vargas, in La
Poland won its first game at the 2009 FIVB World League,
and it now dominates the historical meetings between the two nations 7-2.
Venezuela worked as a machine in the first set. The
attack, the block and the defense worked with efficiency for the South
Americans, who took control of the game from the beginning. Only mistakes in
the service put Venezuela at risk: In total they made nine service errors,
whereas the Polish team was almost flawless in this department. Ultimately, an
ace from Piotr Nowakowski made it 24-21, but then a poor serve gave the set to
The game was hotly contested in the second set thanks to
the service and attack of Poland. The Europeans began this period with two aces
from Jakub Jarosz and Zbigniew Bartman. Captain Michal Bakiewicz showed the
power of his attacks, whereas the Venezuelans failed in reception and from the
service area (they added another six faults in this period of game compared to
two from Poland).
The third set was very close. Both teams battled hard,
showing all their weapons. The Polish team looked for the corners and Venezuela
defended itself with the spikes of Thomas Ereú, Luis Díaz and of centrals Iván
Márquez and Fredy Cedeño. The hosts returned to their erratic ways on the serve
(adding eight more mistakes to Poland's three), but their attack made up for it
and they managed to win the set 25-20.
Poland reacted after dropping four points in the fourth
set. The Europeans led for a good part of the set until Venezuela adjusted
their attack and reception to close the set with emotion. The Venezuelans only
made one mistake in service, but Jakub Jarosz, Michal Bakiewicz and Marcin
Mozdzonek did enough damage with their spikes to level the match at two sets
In the fifth set, Poland again silenced Venezuela with
its offense. The visitors dominated the proceedings and remained calm in spite
of vocal home crowd's attempt to unnerve them. Venezuela was unable to resist
the Polish attack and dropped to their second defeat at the tournament.