Wroclaw, Poland, July 4, 2009 – Poland confirmed their supremacy over Venezuela beating the South Americans in four sets in their fourth and final meet of the 2009 FIVB World League. Almost six thousand fans in the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw helped the home team win 3-1 (27-29, 25-14, 25-21, 25-22). Poland completed sweep of Venezuela in this year’s competition getting from those confrontations eleven points of twelve possible.
Luis Diaz led all scorers with 21 points while the hosts had the most effective player in Zbigniew Bartman who had 19 points. Marcin Mozdzonek, who had nine blocks was named MVP of the match.
Both coaches decided to make some changes in their lineups. Venezuelan Jose A. Gutierrez introduced Ronald Mendez while Polish coach Daniel Castellani brought in four players that didn’t start the match on Friday. Guest team jumped out to a 4-1 lead and enjoyed a two-point advantage at the first technical timeout. After the break the difference increased to four points (10-6). Castellani called a timeout, but it didn’t cool off the Venezuelans. They led 16-14 at the second technical timeout. Poland drew level at 18-18, but after Marcel Gromadowski was blocked on the right wing, Venezuela regained the lead. The Poles equalized once again and the score stayed equal until 27-27. Then Zbigniew Bartman served the net and after poor reception on the Polish side, Ivan Marquez made no mistake in the counterattack and finished the set. Venezuela won the partial 29-27.
Poland started the second set with great energy. Powerful serves from Michal Ruciak and blocks from Marcin Mozdzonek gave the hosts a 5-0 lead. Afters Marquez fault, Poland took a 8-3 advantage at the first technical timeout. When the home team led 11-4, Gutierrez called his team on the side, but the gap was too big. There was 16-9 on the scoreboard at the second technical timeout. The Poles showed a piece of spectacular game and after a triple block they easily won the set 25-14.
Despite a disastrous second partial, the Venezuelans started the third set well and led 8-4 at the first technical timeout. It took long, but the Poles finally found their rhythm. They trailed only by a point at the second technical timeout. Jakub Jarosz, who replaced Marcel Gromadowski, gave Poland a spark and a 18-17 lead with a great block. At 21-21 Castellani brought in Grzegorz Lomacz for Pawel Woicki. Two aces from Bartman and two faults on the Venezuelan side gave the home team a 25-21 win.
The fourth set started very even. With 5-5 on the scoreboard the South Americans made two mistakes that let Poland move into a lead. The Poles felt a little bit more relaxed, but it cost them few points in the counterattack. Venezuela fought back and stayed within one point at the second technical timeout. In the final part of the set Polish players made some mistakes at the serving end, but thanks to an inspired play from Jarosz in the attack, Poland won the set 25- 22 and the match 3-1. Next weekend Poland will play against Finland in Tampere, while Venezuela goes home to receive Brazil in Caracas.