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NEWS

Dramatic five-setter takes Poland to World League finals!

 
The fantastic ambience that Polish fans usually create
 
Krakow, Poland, July 3, 2015 – Poland have secured a spot in the Group 1 Finals of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2015 after a hard-fought victory over USA in Krakow.  The Poles needed one win out of this weekend’s double-header and achieved it in the first game on Friday night, but could not rejoice before a dramatic five-set battle was over with the final score of 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12).  Bartosz Kurek was the home crowd’s hero of the night topping the scorers’ chart of the match with 21 points.

USA were dominating throughout the first set, opening and maintaining a gap as far wide as 8 points.  A late push by Poland did not make any miracles and the Americans comfortably closed the set at 25-19.  Inspired by its enthusiastic supporters on the stands, the Polish team found an adequate reaction in the second set and piled up a considerable advantage of four points.  Some good serving efforts from Matthew Anderson, combined with great defence and blocking, brought the US squad back to 15-15.  A hard-fought point-for-point continued through 19-19, after which Poland took three in a row before cruising to 25-22 registered with a kill by Kurek to level the match at 1-1.

The third set was a hard-fought battle all the way through 20-20, but then USA went on a 5-1 run with a spike by Anderson closing it off at 25-21.  With nothing more to lose in this match, the Poles put their act back together and dominated over the fourth set.  Having taken an early lead, they never let it go.  A hit by Mateusz Mika ended it at 25-20 on Poland’s second set point and it was time for a crucial tie-breaker.  A steady point-for-point went on until a triple block on Aaron Russell gave Poland a break point for 10-8.  Another one came from Michal Kubiak’s block for 13-10.  The US coach took time-outs, which did not change the course of this set, and Mika sealed the win and the Final Six qualification with a spike for 15-12.

In the break between the second and the third set, the Polish international Lukasz Kadziewicz was honoured upon completing his career as a player after 187 caps with the national team.  Wieslaw Maron, Polish national teams doctor for over 20 years, was also recognised during this short, but touching ceremony.

To see the match gallery, read the full match live commentary and post-match comments, visit the match page.





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