Gdansk, Poland, July 7, 2011 – On Thursday evening Poland did not stand a chance against Italy as they lost in straight sets (15-25, 20-25 and 20-25) in the fourth match in Pool F in FIVB 2011 World League Final Round.
Italy's Cristian Savani was the best scorer with 13 points, while Bartosz Kurek topped the Polish scorers with 12 points.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World League
Final Round - Poland July 6-10
Nerves were frayed at the start of this encounter as another raucous Polish crowd whipped up the atmosphere inside the Ergo Arena. Both sides committed some unforced errors but it was the Italians who took advantage as they raced ahead into an 8-4 at the first TTO. Italy played much better in the block and as suspected it quickly became obvious that Poland were missing their talisman Zbigniew Bartman. Their main attacker and point scorer had injured his leg in the opening game against Bulgaria.
With a blunted attack Poland also began to struggle in defence and the “Azzurri” smoothly extended their advantage to 11 points (23-12). Poland's coach, Andrea Anastasi made a double-change bringimng on the experienced captain, Piotr Gruszka for his first outing in this year's World League. However, the Poles were helpless and the Italians convincingly took the set 25-15.Sensing an opportunity the Italians looked to take quick control of the second set . The team which had lost on the opening day was highly motivated were now playing imperiously in defence. This was in contrast with the Polish side who were suffering a breakdown in communication between the players. The Italians raced 8-4 in front and despite a string of changes made by the Polish coach Italy were too good. After the second TTO (16-9 for Italy), the Poles suddenly “woke up” and scored 3 points in a row. Urged on by an animated crowd Poland pushed the Italians all the way but eventually losing the second set 20-25.
Italy showed their domination in the beginning of the third set (4-0), but the Poles managed to tie the score at 7-7 and stayed close. However, the Italians jumped ahead one more time at 17-14, and refused to let their opponents get a look in They took the set 25-20 and to win the match comprehensively 3-0