Lanza, Schulz, Bednorz Take Starring Roles as Italy, Poland Win

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 09th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Men, International Volleyball, News


  • June 8th-June 10th, 2018
  • Osaka, Japan | Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium (Capacity: 10,000)
  • Time Zone: Japan Standard Time (UTC +9)
  • World Rankings: #3 Poland, #4 Italy, #12 Japan, #14 Bulgaria
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
8 Jun 15:40 Italy  2–3  Poland 17–25 25–21 17–25 31–29 10–15 100–115 P2
8 Jun 19:10 Japan  0–3  Bulgaria 14–25 21–25 27–29 62–79 P2
9 Jun 12:40 Italy  3–1  Bulgaria 25–23 25–19 21–25 25–19 96–86 P2
9 Jun 16:10 Japan  0–3  Poland 16–25 21–25 20–25 57–75


Italy def. Bulgaria 3-1

  • Italy defeated Bulgaria 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 25-19
  • Italy moved 5-3 (15 points); Bulgaria moved to 3-5 (9 points)

Filippo Lanza notched 20 points to pace the Italians in a four-set win, which snapped a two-match VNL skid for the team, which opted to leave its top two scorers Ivan Zaytsev and Osmany Juantorena off the roster for Week 3.

Lanza downed 19 kills and added a block, and had help from Gabriele Nelli (16) and Luigi Randazzo (13). Nelli tallied 13 putaways and served up a team-best three aces, while Randazzo tacked on 11 kills, a block and an ace. Enrico Cester played a key role at the net with four stuffs and five kills, while Simone Anzani managed seven putdowns and two blocks.

Bulgaria had four double-digit point scorers, but came up just short. Nikolay Uchikov paced the team with 19 points (14 kills, 5 aces), while Valentin Bratoev (13), Nikolay Penchev (13) and Svetoslav Gotsev (10) joined him in double figures. Bratoev and Penchev put together 11 kills, a block and an ace apiece, while Gotsev added seven putaways, two blocks and an ace.

Italy owned the net, leading in kills (58-50) and blocks (10-6) and grabbed 23 points on Bulgarian miscues (while committing 21). Bulgaria was better from the service line, outdoing the Italians 9-5 in aces.


Poland def. Japan 3-0

  • Poland defeated Japan 25-16, 25-21, 25-20
  • Poland moved to 7-1 (20 points); Japan moved to 3-5 (9 points)

Poland showed its depth and bested Japan in every way to stay atop the VNL table as Damian Schulz and Bartosz Bednorz turned in all-around efforts.

The Poles dominated the block (11-4) and also boasted the advantage in kills (40-37) and aces (7-3). Poland also had help from 17 Japanese errors, while committing 13 of its own.

Schulz and Bednorz racked up 16 points apiece to lead the way for Poland. Bednorz downed a team-best 12 kills and added two blocks and two aces, while Schulz was a force offensively and from the service line with 11 kills, four aces and a block. Piotr Nowakowski added in 11 points, with six kills and a team-high four blocks and an ace. Bartosz Kwolek and Artur Szalpuk, who led the team on Friday, did not play in the match, while Dawid Konarski and Mateusz Bieniek played sparingly.

Yuji Nishida and Akihiro Yamauchi were in good form for Japan, each posting double-digit point tallies, but besides an eight point effort by Tatsuya Fukuzawa, did not have much help. Nishida scored 16 points with 14 kills, a block and an ace, while Yamauchi turned in eight putaways and a team-best two blocks. Fukuzawa added in six kills, a block and an ace.

Japan has now lost both of its home matches thus far in Osaka with a Sunday meeting with Italy awaiting.

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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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