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Rejuvenated Poland sees off USA

Poland block the US as they clinch a vital victory on Friday evening
Lodz, Poland, May 27, 2011 – Poland pulled off a vital opening win on Friday night as they saw off Olympic champions USA in straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-19) in their opening match of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League in front of their home fans in Lodz.

Bartosz Kurek led the scorers with 23 points, while the USA were topped by Reid Priddy with 16 points.

Despite two simple errors at the beginning of the first set, the hosts quickly found their rhythm and gained a four point advantage before USA coach Alan Knipe used his first time-out. However it did little to settle the visitors as they continued to fall prey to the hosts, eventually going down 25-20.

Grzegorz Kosok was called upon following an injury to Marcin Mozdzonek but despite the intimidating stage he stepped up to cause USA problems.

The second set started better for the visitors as they took an 8-5 lead. Poland eventually drew even and edged the lead at 20-18. Bartosz Kurek’s counter attacks helped the side extend their lead as they eventually clinched the set 25-22.

Poland’s Italian coach Andrea Anastasi kept his team the same for the third as Alan Knipe rung in the changes. However they were a mere formality as the hosts took a quick 4-0 lead before Kurek and Bartman connected well to carry the side to the end of the set and a crucial victory over their Pool A rivals.

The two sides will meet again on Saturday at 15:00 GMT with the United States desperate for revenge.


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