Tijuana, Mexico, July 22, 2009 – Czech Republic recovered from two sets down and emerged winners over Poland 20-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-12 to win Pool H and secure a berth in the competition for the 9-to-12 positions.
Tereza Vanzurova recorded 25 points and Michala Kvapilova added 13 to lead the Czech scoring. Tamara Kaliszuk and Joanna Woslosz topped Poland with 19 and 16 respectively
Poland established good blocking since the first whistle and led 8-6 and 16-9 at the technical stops. The Poles scored six points via blocks in the opening set and Maja Tokarska and Katarzyna Bryda were the top point-producers en route to a 25-20 win.
Taking advantage of Poland’s unforced errors, the Czechs took a 4-1 lead in the second set. Behind three spikes of Kaliszuk, Poland closed the gap to 8-6 at the first technical time-out. Poland took the lead 16-13 at the second stop relying on the solid blocking led by Tokarska. The Czechs sparked a come back led by Vanzurova strong spikes to shorten the gap to 20-19 and then even-up via an opponent error. Spikes by Tokarska and Kaliszuk plus a block from Woslosz gave Poland new life and later the victory 25-23 with a spike by Bryda.
Kaliszuk started the third set with a hot hand sending Poland to an 8-5 lead. The Czechs showed they were not willing to give up and came back with the heavy hits of Vanzurova combined with some rival’s errors to take the lead 16-13 at the second stop. The same Vanzurova took matters in her hands the rest of the way and Czech Republic won 25-17.
The Czechs sent the action to a tie-breaker by winning the fourth set 25-21. Vanzurova and Kvapilova were the offensive leaders with Honkova providing the defense at the net. The Czechs were in front of the score in both pauses 8-5 and 16-13. Kaliszuk continued to be Poland’s main force but couldn’t take his team to the victory.
In the tie-breaker, Vanzurova recorded four of her points. The Czechs were in front 8-7 at the stop and then stretched the difference to 12-10 with a block by Honkova. At 13-11, Kaliszuk put her side within one point but spikes of Vanzurova and Melicharkova closed the set and the match 15-12 in favor of Czech Republic.