Blocking Keys Poland, Russia to VNL Opening Sweeps of Korea, Canada

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 25th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, Canadian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Men, International Volleyball, News


  • May 25-27, 2018
  • Spodek, Katowice, Poland (seating 11,500) on May 25th & Tauron Arena Krakow, Krakow, Poland (seating 22,000) on May 26th and May 27th
  • Time Zone: GMT + 2 (US Eastern Time +6)
  • World Rankings: #3 Poland, #4 Russia, #6 Canada, #21 South Korea,
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
25 May 16:00 Poland  3–0  South Korea 25–20 25–18 25–21 75–59 P2 P3
25 May 19:00 Russia  3–0  Canada 26–24 25–14 25–19 76–57 P2 P3


Poland def. South Korea 3-0

  • Poland defeated South Korea 25-20, 25-18, 25-21
  • Poland moved to 1-0 (3 points); South Korea moved to 0-1 (0 points)

A dominant blocking effort and balanced attack were key in lifting Poland to a sweep of South Korea at home in Katowice to open VNL Pool 3 play on Friday.

Poland bested Korea 13-2 on the block, 38-36 in kills and had help from three more Korean miscues (21-18) in the win. For its part, South Korea edged the Polish side 4-3 in aces.

Artur Szalpuk led all scoring with 16 points for Poland, including a team-best 10 kills, a team-leading four blocks and two aces. Jakub Kochanowski (12), Dawid Konarski (10) and Aleksander Sliwka (10) also managed double-digit scoring efforts. Sliwka notched 10 kills, while Kochanowski added nine putaways and three blocks. Konarski tallied seven kills and three blocks.

Jae-Duck Seo was the top scorer for Korea, notching nine points with eight kills and an ace. Gyeong-Bok Na and Jiseok Jung added eight points apiece. Jung downed eight kills, while Na chipped in six kills, one block and one ace. Korea used 13 of its 14 points in the match.

Poland jumped ahead 12-7 in Set 1, but Jung sliced the margin to three before Konarski capped the set at 25-20 with his fifth point of the day.

A 5-1 advantage in Set 2 was too much for Korea to overcome, although the team got close at 13-10, before the Polish side diversified its offense and won its second challenge of the set en route to a 25-18 win.

The Koreans played themselves out of Set 3 with too many errors, while Szalpuk racked up five kills and three blocks on the way to the 25-21 win to secure the sweep.


Russia def. Canada 3-0

  • Russia defeated Canada 26-24, 25-14, 25-19
  • Russia moved to 1-0 (3 points); Canada moved to 0-1 (0 points)

Three Russian players managed double-digit scoring efforts, but it was the team’s blocking prowess that put its match with Canada out of reach on Friday.

Russia outblocked Canada 13-2 in the victory, while also boasting a 4-1 edge in aces and committing just 11 errors to its foes 16. The teams were level offensively with 43 kills apiece.

Egor Kliuka paced the offense with 14 kills, part of a match-high 16 point effort. Dmitriy Muserskiy (15) and Konstantin Bakun (11) also added double-digit scoring efforts, turning in 10 kills apiece. Muserskiy chipped in three blocks and a team-best two aces, while Ilia Vlasov put up a team-leading four stuffs.

Bradley Gunter notched a match-best 15 kills to lead Canada. Seven other players got in on the offensive action, posting at least two kills apiece. Jason Derocco tallied seven points, all on kills, while three other players turned in five point efforts. Steven Marshall and Graham Vigrass downed five kills each while Stephen Maar added four putaways and the team’s lone ace.

Canada led by as many as three in Set 1, going up 10-7 behind Vigrass’ attacking. Muserskiy served up an ace and added a kill to pull Russia within one at 18-17. Kliuka put Russia on top briefly at 20-19, but the team trailed 21-20 moments later. Blocks by Vlasov and Anton Karpukhov helped the Russians to the 26-24 win.

Russia scored five of the first six points of Set 2 and went on to a 10-6 advantage before cruising to the 25-14 win.

Canada led by one at the first technical timeout of Set 3, but saw that fade into an 18-12 deficit, including an ace off the tape. In the end, three Canadian miscues sealed the 25-19 Russian victory.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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