Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 15, 2009 – Finland beat Poland in four sets on Wednesday, in front of 6500 volleyball-crazy fans in Luczniczka hall in Bydgoszcz and secured second place in the pool D of 2009 FIVB World League. In the penultimate clash of Poland and Finland in this year’s competition, the Finns won 3-1 (25-16, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23).
Marcel Gromadowski of Poland led all scorers with 16 points, while Mikko Oivanen paced Team Finland with 14 points. Olli Kunnari was named MVP of the match.
It was a debut in this years competition for Polish middle-blocker Lukasz Kadziewicz who recovered from an injury. Silver medalist from 2006 FIVB World Championships appeared in the starting lineup.
Both teams started the match with great energy. There were a lot of powerful serves and attacks from the middle of the net. Finland led 8-7 at the first technical timeout. After some blocks on Jakub Jarosz, great serving and very effective counter-attacks the Finns increased the lead to five points (14-9). Polish coach Daniel Castellani called two timeouts, but Finland led 16-10 at the second technical timeout. Marcel Gromadowski replaced unproductive Jarosz and Grzegorz Lomacz was substitute for Pawel Woicki. The Poles couldn’t find their rhythm in the attack and the Finns needed only 22 minutes to win the set easily 25 – 16.
In the second set, the host team jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but Finland managed to tie the game very quickly. After Michal Ruciak kill from the right wing, Poland held a two point advantage (8-6) at the first technical timeout. Both sides had some problems with an efficacy of their attacks, but thanks to the killing blocks of Kadziewicz the hosts led 16-13 at the second technical timeout. The difference increased to six points after the break (21-15), but the Finns managed to win three in a row and closed the gap. In a nervous ending Poland showed no fear and another block from Kadziewicz let them wrap the frame up 25-21.
The Finns started the third set in a good style, though led by only one point at the first technical timeout (8-7). The score stayed even until 17-17. Powerful serves from Matti Oivanen and blocks from Konstantin Shumov helped Finland gain a four point advantage (21-17) and the Poles didn’t come back. After a killing block from Olli Kunnari the guest team took the set 25-20 and secured second place in pool D.
Daniel Castellani decided to replace Zbigniew Bartman and Kadziewicz by Bartosz Kurek and Piotr Nowakowski respectively and Poland led by one point at the first technical timeout.
Some bad receptions caused the home team few points and they trailed by two at the second TTO (14-16). The Poles didn’t give up but they weren’t able to catch up with the Fins. Another display of form from Finnish setter Mikko Esko let the guest team play with great confidence. They clinched the fourth set 25- 23 and the match 3-1.
On Thursday both teams will meet for the very last time in this year’s competition.