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Smarzek smashes 34, brings Poland within an inch of VNL Final Six

Poland's Malwina Smarzek gets past the block of Bethania De La Cruz and Lisvel Eve for one of her 34 points against the Dominican Republic in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 10, 2019 - Malwina Smarzek has brought Poland within an inch of a berth in the Final Six of the 2019 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League after scoring 34 points against the Dominican Republic Wednesday morning to outlast the Dominican Republic 3-2 (25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 17-15) in the penultimate match day of pool play.

The Polish opposite, who turned 23 this month, got 30 points from attacks (30/78 for 38%), plus another four from blocks, although today she didn't serve any aces against the 'Queens of the Caribbean'.

The result doesn't quite secure Poland's ticket to the Final Six, July
3-7 in Nanjing, leaving an ever so slight window of opportunity for Japan, who would need to win both their remaining matches today against Korea and tomorrow against the Dominican Republic, while at the same time hoping Poland lose tomorrow to Korea.

And even Belgium, after their win in Ankara over Turkey yesterday, now have a theoretical chance - though that's even slimmer than Japan's.

It is the sixth time this season that Smarzek makes the list of players to have scored 30 points or more in a single VNL match. She had previously bagged 41 points (an all-time VNL hight) against Bulgaria, 33 against Russia, 32 against Germany and 31 against both Brazil and yesterday Japan.

Smarzek also has three entries in the list from last season's inaugural VNL, bringing her total to nine and making her the most prolific scorer ever of the competition.

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