Poland’s Bartosz Kurek
earned a match-high
three aces, equalled only
by USA’s Clayton Stanley
Donald Suxho’s
average of 4.33 sets
for USA was well
short of Poland setter
Lukasz Zygadlo’s 5.67
Michal Winiarski and Russell Holmes both played a
strong match facing each other at the net – Winiarski
finished with six spikes and two blocks while Holmes
recorded four spikes and three blocks
70
FINALS HIGHLIGHTS
GOLD MEDAL MATCH
July 8
POL
USA
3
0
25-17 26-24 25-20
GOLD MEDAL MATCH
Poland go golden with victory over USA
Both Poland and USA had impressed as they
won their groups in the Intercontinental Round
and both had won their semifinals 3-0, so a close
match was expected in the final. USA, the 2008
winners, might have had the edge in experience,
but Poland were out to make the most of their
first World League final. They took the advantage
from the start and the Americans were constantly
playing catch-up. Toward the end of the set,
Poland’s Michal Ruciak blasted down two service
aces and the Poles eased away for a 25-17 win.
The second set was a real nail-biter with neither
team giving ground to their opponents. After
leading 16-14 at the second technical timeout
(
TTO), the Americans allowed the Poles to draw
level and take the set 26-24. In the final set, the
Poles blitzed the Americans in the second phase
and were six points clear at the second TTO. They
never looked back. “I am really happy,” Poland
coach Andrea Anastasi said. “It is the first gold
medal for Poland in the World League and for
me, as a coach, this is important.”Anastasi
previously won the 1999 World League with Italy.