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Poland conclude first round with victorious mark

Poland's blocking proved to be one of the keys for the victory over Argentina on Sunday
Wroclaw, Poland, September 7, 2014 – Poland won Pool A with a spotless record at the 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship as they defeated Argentina in straight sets (25-20, 25-20, 25-23) at Centennial Hall on Sunday.

The Polish team concluded with a 5-0 win-loss record and the maximum 15 points while dropping just one set in the process. Argentina concluded at 3-2.

Key facts

• Poland have won the last two meetings at world championship since 2006
• Both teams sit now at 2-2 after four matches at the world championship
• Poland are undefeated in their last 23 matches against Argentina at major tournaments

Mariusz Wlazly had 16 points, including four aces, as the star player of Poland in the match while Michal Winiarski also contributed 16 with two blocks. Sebastian Sole and Jose Luis González finished with 11 and 10 points for Argentina. 

The Agentineans started the match better than the hosts as they managed to take a two-point lead by Nicolas Uriarte’s kill and Facundo Conte’s aces. However Poland did not stay behind the opponents. Mariusz Wlazly’s superb serves and astonishing block gave the Poles an 8-7 lead. Following the break, the Polish team jumped ahead. Piotr Nowakowski and Mateusz Mika were showing precise spikes so the score was 16-12. Conte with Martin Ramos tried to stop the hosts but a perfect triple block was unbreakable for Argentina’s team. Again, Wlazly’s serves were impossible to receive as Polish team gained three points in a row thanks to him. The hosts were systematically plunging the opponents as the whole team were playing in the highest level. The set finished with the result 25-20, following Michal Winiarski’s block-out move.

Early in the second set, the hosts were incredibly effective, especially on the counter-attacks as Wlazly and Winiarski gave them a 7-3 lead. Surprisingly, head coach Julio Velasco’s team managed to gain five points in a row, so that for the first technical time-out, the Argentinians got off the court with a 8-7 lead. That was mainly caused by Polish attack mistakes and Javier Filardi’s aces. Following the break, Poland regained the lead and gradually extended it. Argentina tried to catch up with spikes by the likes of Sebastian Sole, however the Poles were playing too aggressively and precisely. Nowakowski’s dink and then triple block won the world No. 5 ranked team’s 20th point, while the Argentineans had 16. Libero Sebastian Closter was helpless as Wlazly served and Winiarski spiked. Jose Luis Gonzalez off target’s serve gave the hosts a 25-20 win.

The last set was more level as the Argentineans were motivated to keep close to the hosts. They did not want to let the Polish team jump out to lead and when the Poles were two points ahead, the world No. 9 ranked side immediately regained the missing points. A great triple block was executed by Uriarte, Sole and Conte, however Nowakowski’s kill made Poland lead 8-7 before the technical time-out. The South American team obtained a two-point lead following Martin Ramos’ spike and Mika and Winiarski’s errors. That was the sign to head coach Stephane Antiga to ask for time-out. Until the second time out Poland could not regain the lead as Conte was successfully spiking. It was not until Michal Kubiak’s kill and Winiarski’s block-out move that the situation changed. However Argentina did not give up as they were desperately fighting until the end of the match. Poland won 25-23 following the Argentineans spike out of bounds.


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