Hoffman Estates, Illinois, June 18, 2011 – The United States secured a 3-1 (25-21, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22) victory over Poland in front of 6,000 fans in an FIVB World League match on Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena.
The United States regained its hold on second place in Group A and improved its record to 5-3. Poland fell to 4-4. The U.S. will travel to Tulsa, Okla., for its next two matches against world No. 1 Brazil on June 24-25.
U.S. outside hitter Matt Anderson led all scorers with 20 points on 16 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Reid Priddy added 10 points on six kills, two blocks and two aces.
Zbigniew Bartman led Poland with 19 points on a match-high 18 kills and one block. Piotr Nowakowski added 15 points on 12 kills, one block and two aces.
Poland led in kills, 49-39. Poland’s hitting efficiency was 0.284 and its kill percent was 45.9. The United States’ hitting efficiency was 0.282 and its kill percent was 37.9.
But errors proved to be Poland’s undoing, as the U.S. scored on 36 Poland errors while committing 21. Poland had 18 attack errors while the U.S. had 10. Poland had 15 service errors to USA’s 11.
The U.S. took an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout of the first set, getting points on two blocks and a kill from Anderson as well as a kill by Holmes and a block from David Lee. Poland’s Kurek took control for his team, scoring on a kill and a block. Piotr Nowakowski had an ace. The U.S. serving was more powerful early in the match than on Friday while Poland struggled with service errors. Poland came back with a kill after the break and the teams exchanged points until a Poland serving error gave Priddy the serve and the U.S. went on a 3-0 run to lead 14-9. With the U.S. leading 15-10, Poland pulled back two points, but serving errors gave the U.S. a 16-12 lead at the second TTO. Poland scored twice on a Bartman kill and Nowakowski block to pull within two at 16-14, but Anderson took the serve with a kill and the U.S. scored with an ace, causing Anastasi to call a timeout. A Polish error put the U.S. up 20-14 lead before a U.S. serving error ended the run. Poland scored another point to make it 20-16 and cause Knipe to call timeout. The strategy worked and the U.S. scored on a Polish serving error. The U.S. reached setpoint on a kill by Priddy. Jakub Jarosz scored on a kill before Lee ended the set with a kill. Anderson had seven points in the set. Bartman led Poland with four. Poland had 11 kills to the United States’ eight. The U.S. outblocked Poland 6-4.
Poland regained momentum in the second set and jumped out to a 6-1 lead. Knipe called timeout, but Kurek made it 7-1 with another kill before Stanley ended the run with a kill. The U.S. scored again on Poland’s error, but Poland took an 8-3 lead at the first TTO on Bartman’s kill. Poland continued to dominate and led 16-8 at the second TTO. With Poland leading 21-12, Knipe called timeout and Stanley scored with a kill, but the Poles were too far ahead. The teams exchanged points until Bartman gave Poland setpoint with a tip and Nowakowski won the set with a kill. Bartman had six points in the set for Poland.
The teams opened the third set even, but at 3-3, a Priddy kill gave the U.S. an edge and Thornton followed with a block and a Poland hitting error made it 6-3. Marcin Mozdzonek ended the run with a strike and the teams traded points until the U.S. held an 8-5 lead at the first TTO. Priddy came out of the break with an ace and the U.S. later increased its lead to 11-6 on an Anderson kill. The teams again traded points until the U.S. led 14-10 and Priddy used two straight kills to give the U.S. a 16-10 lead at the second TTO. Following the break, Poland hit wide and Anastasi called another timeout. However two straight blocks from Stanley and Priddy put the U.S. up by nine and a Poland hitting error made it 20-10. Poland closed the gap slightly and two U.S. errors made it 22-16, when Knipe called a timeout. Holmes came back with a kill, Poland called timeout and Anderson answered with a kill to give the U.S. setpoint at 24-17. A U.S. service error held off the victory, but Anderson’s kill gave the U.S. a 2-1 set lead. Anderson had seven points for the U.S. in the set.
Poland took a 5-3 lead to open the fourth set, including two blocks, leading the U.S. to call timeout. Anderson came back with a kill and the teams traded points until Poland led 7-5. Two straight kills by Anderson and Stanley tied it at 7-7. Nowakowski gave Poland the 8-7 lead at the first TTO with a kill. Coming out of the break, Poland scored three straight points on two kills and a U.S. error causing the U.S. to call timeout. Poland’s next serve went long. Later, with Poland leading 14-10, the U.S. got two points from an Anderson kill and Lee ace to pull to within two. A Holmes kill and Stanley ace tied the score at 15-15. The teams were still tied at 19-19 when the U.S. went up by two on Anderson’s kill and Poland’s hitting error. Poland called timeout, but had two more hitting errors to give the U.S. a 23-19 lead. Poland called timeout again and the U.S. served into the net. A Lee kill gave the U.S. matchpoint at 24-20. Poland came back with two points before Poland hit it out to give the U.S. the win.