5-set duel of giants goes in favor of defending champions!
In a very high level game, Poland was en route to sweeping the USA, then saw their rival tie before resolving the quarter-final battle at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball World Championship in their favor at tie-break.
Partially it was (25:20, 27:25, 21:25, 22:25, 15:12).
In the semifinals, Poland will meet Brazil in a rematch of the finals of both the 2014 and 2018 editions of the tournament. Their next opponents overcame Argentina 3-1 in an all-South American quarterfinal earlier today.
Before this match, we already known three teams that won promotion to the semi-finals, and with this result Poland join Italy, Slovenia, and Brazil.
Interestingly, Poland and USA had some epic clashes also in previous editions of World Championship. Looking back at recent memories, since 2014, they have regularly fought fierce battles for high stakes. In 2014, John Speraw’s players were the only ones who defeated Poland 3-1 during the second group stage.
Four years later, they almost deprived the team of the then coach, Belgian expert Vital Heynen, of promotion to the finals, with another thrilling 3-2.
This year’s quarter-final was therefore a very important moment in the career of the Poland National Team head coach, Nikola Grbić, because, although his team had already defeated the Americans at this tournament, it was known that the return of Micah Christenson to the USA’s line-up after he missed a couple of games would give the rivals a lot.
Bartosz Kurek was Poland’s most prolific player with 21 points, while Mateusz Bieniek was decisive in blocking, with 6 points from this elemen.
Jakub Konachowski was nearly perfect offensively with 93.75% attack (15/16)!
In fact, the middle blockers were one of the keys to the Polish victory. While Kochanoswki and Bieniek combined for 34 points on the European side, American middle blockers David Smith, Jeff Jendryk and Taylor Averill produced just 16.
The 27-year-old Sliwka also scored in double digits, tallying 11 points (all in attack), including the game-winner.
Aaron Russell tallied 24 points for USA, 22 in attack, one block and one ace.
September 7, 2022 | 📍Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Italy – France 3-2 (24:26, 25:21, 23:25, 25:22, 15:12)
• Slovenia – Ukraine 3-1 (18:25, 26:24, 25:19, 25:23)
September 8, 2022 | 📍Gliwice, Poland
👉🏼 21.00 (Local Time) Poland – USA 3-2 (25:20, 27:25, 21:25, 22:25, 15:12)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH