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Big crowd enjoy second Poland victory

Around 7,000 watched hosts Poland claiming their second victory in a row on Tuesday
Wroclaw, Poland, September 2, 2014 – Poland picked up another three points in Pool A of the FIVB Men’s World Championship as they beat Australia in straight sets (25-17, 25-19, 25-22) in the last match in front of a packed house at Centennial Hall on Tuesday.

The home team improved their win-loss record to 2-0 and 6 points, while Australia dropped to 1-1.

Poland relied on a balanced offense led by Mateusz Mika with 14 points closely followed by Michal Winiarski with 13 points. Mariusz Wlazly and Piotr Nowakowski contributed 12 and 11 points in the victory.

Australia’s Thomas Edgar led all the players with a match-high 20 points in the losing cause.

•Poland’s victory avenged the 3-1 defeat to the Aussies suffered at London Olympics

•At the three previous World Championships Poland won each of their first three matches

•It was the first ever meeting between the two teams at the World Championships

Poland started with great power as they managed to gain three points in a row. It was not until Pawel Zagumny’s service error that Australia scored a point. The hosts, motivated by a support of a big crowd, forced their opponents to make simple mistakes. The Australians had problems with defence as Piotr Nowakowski and Mateusz Mika produced some spectacular spikes. The Poles got off the court with a three-point lead at the first technical time out, following a block-out move by Michal Winiarski. The Aussies were desperately intending to surprise Poland with the strong spikes of Nehemiah Mote. In addition, they tried a triple block several times but Mika and Nowakowski found a way to avoid it. Eventually, Aidan Zingel and Luke Smith stopped Winiarski but the fantastic attitude of Mika gave the hosts a six-point lead. Australia were doing what they could to stop Poland as Smith and Thomas Edgar killed impressively, but that was not enough. Poland defeated Australia 25-17, following their service error.

The second set was also under Poland’s control. Mika and Mariusz Wlazly were unstoppable for the Polish and only an ace by Thomas could give them a point as the Poles had problems with reception from time to time. However, Winiarski’s great serve was the reason that Poland were leading 8-6 going to the technical time out. Australia’s best scorer, Edgar, found a way to break through the Polish triple block and Zagumny’s mistake let Australia lead 13-12. However it was not for long as Wlazly, Winiarski and Karol Klos gave the head coach Stephane Antiga’s team a three-point lead before the second time-out. During the match, the Australians were making more and more errors so that Fabian Drzyzga and Dawid Konarski could get on the court. Aussie head coach, Jon Uriarte, decided to make a change for the first time in the Championship. Nathan Roberts was substituted for Grigory Sukochev and he immediately scored a point. Still, Poland were much better than their opponents and with Nowakowski’s successful single block, they won 25-19.

The final set began with a tied score although both teams were attacking with great power. Poland managed to gain a lead thanks to Wlazly’s superb serve and Mika’s spike and following the technical time-out they were three points ahead of their opponents. Australia caught up for a while after a few Polish spiking mistakes but at the second technical time-out, the hosts were leading by three points. Following the break, Poland were calmly extending the lead. Aussie head coach Uriarte asked for another time-out, but that did not help his team in terms of the overall result. The set finished 25-22 for Poland as Klos blasted a fantastic kill.


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