2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – Week 5, Pool 17
- June 22-24, 2018
- Hisense Arena; Melbourne, Australia
- Time Zone: UTC + 10 (ET + 14)
- World Rankings: No. 1 Brazil, No. 3 Poland, No. 7 Argentina, No. 16 Australia
|Date||Time||Score||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Total||Report|
Poland def. Argentina 3-0
- Poland defeated Argentina 26-24, 25-20, 29-27
- Poland moved to 9-4 (26 points); Argentina moved to 2-11 (9 points)
Even with top scorers Artur Szalpuk and Bartosz Kwolek on the bench for most of the match, Poland snapped its three-match losing skid with a sweep of Argentina.
Mateusz Bieniek (16) and Jakub Kochanowski (15) led the way for the Poles, while three other players turned in eight or more points. Bieniek downed a team-high 13 kills and added two blocks and an ace, while Kochanowski chipped in 12 putaways and a team-best three blocks. Aleksander Sliwka (9), Bartosz Bednorz (9) and Bartosz Kurek (8) followed. Bednorz tallied seven kills, while Sliwka added six to go with three blocks and Kurek chimed in with five putaways, two stuffs and an ace. Szalpuk scored three points, going 3-for-3 in kills as a sub in Set 3, while Kwolek tacked on two points (1 kill, 1 block) in Set 1.
Cristian Poglajen scored 14 points, all on kills, to pace Argentina. Tomas Lopez added 12 points with 11 kills and a block, while Sebastian Sole (8) and Agustin Loser (7) followed. Loser served up the team’s lone ace, while Joaquin Gellego put up a team-best three blocks.
Poland edged Argentina in every statistical category: kills (47-45), blocks (13-7), aces (3-1) and points off errors (19-16).
Argentina boasted a 20-16 lead in Set 1, prompting a Polish timeout. Poland rallied and stole away the set on their second set-point try.
The Argentines showed some flare on defensive with a knee save by Loser in Set 2 and a kick save by libero Franco Massimino on match point in Set 3, but it was not enough. Bieneck closed out Set 2 with a stuff and Szalpuk provided the final blow in the match.
Here are some post-match reactions.
Poland coach Vital Heynen: “I think we can play much better. We were very lucky in the first set we were down 20-23 and similar in the last set so we were lucky to escape twice. I think we can play better but maybe it’s also a good quality that in this long Volleyball Nations League to have the difficult games and still come out on top and the good thing is we are still in the running for the final 6.”
Poland captain Mateusz Bieniek: “The first set was the most important in that game. The next two sets were actually a bit easier even though Argentina fought hard. After losing our last three matches in the VNL the most important thing is tonight we got the win. That wasn’t the perfect game or performance but we are still happy because it was a must-win game and means we are one step closer to the final six in France.”
Argentina coach Julio Velasco: “At the end of the sets we made more mistakes than Poland. We played good volleyball till 20-22 then we made mistakes – we have to improve. It has happened in other matches as well – we have to grow up in that way. Its not that we don’t play good volleyball – we need to learn how to close out the match and make less mistakes at the end, like we do in the beginning of sets.
Brazil def. Australia 3-0
- Brazil defeated Australia 25-22, 25-19, 25-19
- Brazil moved to 9-4 (27 points); Australia moved to 5-8 (14 points)
Wallace DeSouza scored a match-high 16 points and had help from Lucas Loh and Lucas Saatkamp in leading Brazil to a sweep of Australia, ending a three-match skid.
DeSouze turned in 14 kills and the team’s two aces, while Loh added 11 putaways and a block playing for the injured Luiz Fonteles. Saatkamp chipped in nine kills and a team-high two stuffs. Mauricio Silva and Isac Santos added five kills apiece.
Paul Carroll led the way for Australia with 14 points (13 kills, 1 block). Nehemiah Mote and Paul Sanderson added eight and seven points respectively. Sanderson scored all of his points on kills, while Mote tacked on five kills and a team-best two blocks. Thomas Hodges played just one set, scoring three points as a substitute in Set 2.
Brazil was better at the net, leading 46-35 in kills and 6-5 in blocks. Australia boasted a slight 3-2 edge in aces. The Brazilians also had help from 20 Aussie miscues, while committing 18 of their own.
DeSouza surpassed the 200 point mark in the competition, moving to 208, earning the final point on a crushing kill down the middle of the court for match point.