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Poland smile again as Wlazly was too much for Italy

Host team Poland grabbed their sixth win of the competition and now is ranked in Pool E second place
Lodz, Poland, September 11, 2014 - After a bad start, Poland successfully regained their memory and recovered from the previous loss against USA to overcome Italy 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 26-24). While the host squad still place high in Pool E, the Azzurri were ruled out of the competition.

Key points

It was their second match at FIVB World Championship and Poland now lead 2-0, with the previous win achieved in 2002.

On the current season, both teams have clashed five times and the home side always prevailed.

Poland broke their curse of always losing in World Championship games held at a September 11 - which happened in 1949, 1956 and 1966.

After 28 years, Italy face again four consecutive defeats, but their longest streak is 8 losses in a row, precisely from 1986.

Mariusz Wlazly gave an entire set to the local team as he uncorked 25 kills to steal the show. Michal Kubiak and setter Fabian Drzyzga were key substitutions and also helped a lot for the win. In the losing side, Luca Vettori topped the list with 18 points, while Filippo Lanza achieved 10 shots.

Italy started the game playing their best set of the tournament so far. Lanza was hard to control for the Polish defence and Vettori served an ace to settle the Azzurri at 11-7, while the host side couldn’t find their pulse and made things even smoother. Dragan Travica mastered in handling the Italian play as the gap widened to 19-12, and it wasn’t long until the final Polish mistake that gave shape to a 25-19 score.

The white and red team reacted with a spirited Drzyzga instead of Pawel Zagumny, sparking life into the local attackers. Wlazly stood at the helm with 8 points throughout the set and Kubiak helped to create leads of 12-10 and 17-13. The Polish fans were also a player as the Atlas Arena vibrated with a stronger and stronger team. Wlazly scored three times in the end and a failed Italian serve wrote down the 25-18.

The third act began leveled and although Italy stepped ahead first (10-7), Poland immediately answered with Drzyzga and Wlazly combining for a 13-12 score. However, it took a little longer for the home squad to break free, but Michal Winiarski finally used his serves to elaborate a 20-18 distance. Kubiak, Dawid Konarski and Karol Klos chipped in and Poland sealed the set by 25-20.

Once again, Italy rushed in the first track (5-2) and Emanuele Birarelli held Poland off towards a 14-12 score, but then Wlazly appeared in his best version to change the course of the set. The local star pierced a hole on the Azzurri block at 19-18 and fired an astonishing serve to stretch to 20-18. Poland held on to those two points with Kubiak and, even though Italy achieved a 24-all score, the host team managed to side-out and Winiarski put the final block at 26-24.


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