FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011


Poland roar back to beat Italy in five-set thriller

Poland gradually found a way to stop Italy's best scorer Michal Lasko and turn the match around after trailing 0:2 in sets

Tokyo, Japan, December 2, 2011 - Poland rallied for a five-set victory over Italy (17-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-12) on the first day of fourth-round action in the 2011 FIVB Men's World Cup at Yoyogi National Gym on Friday. The victory improved Poland's record in the tournament to an impressive 8-1. Italy dropped to 6-3 with the loss. Piotr Nowakowski sparked Poland with 15 points. Zbigniew Bartman and Michal Ruciak added 14 each. Ruciak was named the most impressive player of the entertaining match. Cristian Savani led Italy with a match-high 20 points. Michal Lasko contributed 19. The lone blemish for Poland came against Iran in the second round in Osaka. Italy's only two losses entering the match were to Russia and Cuba. The Italians appeared to be in complete control after the first two sets, only to the match completely turn on them.

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Italy moved out to a 5-3 lead in the opening set. Bartman soared for a spike to make it 5-4. Alessandro Fei made it 7-6 for Italy with a nice block. Michal Lasko drilled a spike to send Italy into the first TTO with an 8-7 lead. Bartman tied it 8-8 with a spike. Lasko ended a good rally with a spike to make it 9-9. Ivan Zaytsev launched a service ace to put Italy up 11-10. Bartman sent a serve long to give Italy a 14-12 lead. A service error by Cristian Savani made it 15-14 for Italy. Bartman then equalized 15-15 with a spike that split the Italian defense. Zaytsev's spike put Italy up 16-15 at the second TTO. Luigi Mastrangelo's block gave Italy a four-point lead at 19-15. Bartosz Kurek's serve into the net took it to 21-17. With Italy in front 22-17, Poland took a timeout. A spike by Savani gave Italy set point 24-17 and Zaytsev's service ace ended the set 25-17. Savani had seven points in the set. Italy won the set easily despite committing several more unforced errors.

Bartman's spike put Poland up 5-4 in the second set. A service error by Savani made it 7-5 for the Poles. Travica responded with a quick swipe for 7-6. Michal Winiarski's spike gave Poland an 8-6 edge at the first TTO. Italy then scored three straight points to go up 9-8. Trailing 11-9, Poland called a timeout and Nowakowski responded with a spike. Savani's block took the count to 15-11 for Italy and they led 16-10 at the second TTO after scoring eight of 10 points. With the deficit at eight points (18-10), Poland took a timeout. A Winiarski swipe made it 18-12. An Italy block made it 20-14. A Nowakowski service ace pulled Poland with four points at 21-17. Marcin Mozdzonek's block move Poland closer at 21-18. Zaytsev's spike took it to 22-18. Ruciak split the Italy defense for a spike and it was 22-19. A service error by Savani made it 23-20, but Poland could not capitalize as they made their own service error. Italy then took the set 25-20 with a block.

Poland established a 5-2 lead in the third set. Lasko's spike made it 7-5 in favor of Poland. Another spike by Bartman gave Poland an 8-5 lead at the first TTO. A block by Nowakowski took it to 10-7. Italy moved within a points at 11-10 on a spike by Mastrangelo and then equalized on a service ace by Savani. Savani then fired another service ace to make it 12-11. Poland went ahead 15-12 on consecutive spikes by Jarosz. Poland led 16-13 at the second TTO. Lasko sent a spike long and Italy called a timeout while behind 17-13. Mastrangelo's spike made it 18-14. When Jarosz sailed a spike long, Italy was within two points at 19-17. Savani's block made it 19-18 and Italy then tied it 19-19 on a Mastrangelo block. Nowakowski put Poland back up 20-19 with a spike. Savani's spike went long and the Poles went back up by two points at 21-19. Zaytsev's spike pulled Italy within 22-21. Lasko then tied it 22-22 with a well place slap of the ball. A Nowakowski spike made it 23-22 as the back and forth continued. Savani leveled it 23-23 with a spike. A spike by Winiarski gave Poland set point and they claimed the set 25-23 on a Jarosz spike.

Italy took a 5-4 lead in the fourth set on a spike by Zaytsev. Zaytsev served into the net to give Poland an 7-6 edge and they led 8-7 at the first TTO. Fei's blast tied it at 10-10. Zaytsev then gave Italy an 11-10 with a cross-court spike. A service error by Jarosz made it 14-13 for Italy. Ruciak responded with a spike for 14-14. Jarosz sent a spike long and Italy was up 16-15 at the second TTO. A Savani service error made it 19-18 for Poland. Ruciak's spike put Poland up two points at 21-19. Nowakowski's block made it 22-19 and now Poland was sensing the set was theirs. Ruciak's block took it to 23-19. A spike by Ruciak gave Poland set point at 24-19. Nowakowski ended it 25-19 with a spike to even the match at two sets apiece.

Poland raced to a 3-0 lead in the final set. A Jarosz spike made it 4-1. When Jarosz delivered another spike Poland was up 6-2 and clearly had the momentum. A block by Zaytsev pulled Italy within 6-4. Poland was on top 8-4 at the TTO. A Jarosz service ace gave Poland a five-point lead at 11-6 and Italy called a timeout. Lasko's block made it 12-8. Nowakowski rose for a spike to give Poland a 13-9 lead as they closed in on victory. Another Nowakowski spike made it match point at 14-10 and Mozdzonek finished it 15-12 with a spike.

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