FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Bulgaria show they merit Finals berth with dramatic win over Poland

Poland's Piotr Nowakowski and Georgi Bratoev of Bulgaria battle at the net

Varna, Bulgaria, July 13, 2013 – Bulgaria secured second place in Pool A of the FIVB World League, defeating Poland for the second time in a row on Saturday, 3-2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 19-17).

Having two teams with strong will for the victory was the best that could happen in the Palace of Culture and Sports. Poland was anxious to fix yesterday’s errors and Bulgaria fought hard for a win to prove that USA’s loss against Brazil wasn’t their only ticket into the Finals.

Poland came into the first set with a completely different attitude from Friday. Andrea Anastasi's team had more ambition in the first set and took advantage of the hosts celebrating qualification and not being concentrated for the match. Bartosz Kurek took the responsibility and put his team ahead. Kurek made the decisive points to give his team a five-point advantage at 13-8. With Bartman and Kubiak supporting him, the three completed the set easily for Poland 25-20. 

Bulgaria tried to snap out of the shock in the second set, but Sokolov and captain Aleksiev were not enough to stop the "red and white" storm. The defense by the host team was not stable, and each error was punished by the Polish.  

Then something happened; Bulgaria woke up. Camillo Placi made some changes, with Valentin Bratoev in instead of Skrimov. This put the hosts ahead in the beginning of the third. Kubiak and Bartman lead Poland but Valentian Bratoev and Aleksiev kept the balance in favour of the Lions until the end, 25-21.

Poland started the fourth well and it seemed that they would close the match. Sokolov was not of the same opinion though. He scored some aces and spikes to keep his team ahead until the very end 25-21. 

The tiebreak provided a marvelous display of volleyball for the crowd in the Palace of Culture and Sports. Bulgaria went ahead with the unstoppable Sokolov who finished with 31 points. At 14-10 it seemed everything was decided for the hosts but Bartosz Kurek then scored three aces to equalize at 14-14. But Bulgaria held firm and the victory was of huge importance for Bulgaria’s self-esteem before the Finals next week.  

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2013 World League Tournament page 
2013 World League Schedule 
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