2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship
There is no stopping the Polish steamroll. The defending champs advance to the semifinals and will now face off against Team USA for a finals berth.
Italy Defeated Poland 3-2 (14/25, 25/21, 18/25, 25/17, 15/11)
- Attendance: 12011
- P2 Stats Sheet
As a testament to his genius, and to prove that he could just about grab 10 guys from a street corner and whip them up into a competent volleyball team, Vital Heynen and the Polish squad clinched their semifinal berth by eliminating Italy in front of its 12+ thousand fans.
The game was an unusual affair for the Heynen’s team, which needed to only win one set, or score more than 60 points, to eliminate the heavily favorited Italian squad fro the competition. The Polish squad chose to not take the conservative route, and completely annihilated the Italians from the get-go, taking the first set 25-14. Michal Kubiak scored 7 points and Bartosz Kurek had 5 in their short time on the court. At the end of the first set, Poland chose to rest its starters and finished the game with its reserves, which allowed Italy to mount a comeback and finish the game with a very bittersweet 3-2 (14/25, 25/21, 18/25, 25/17, 15/11) win.
This will be one of very few times a fan will see players storming the court at the end of a first set to celebrate a win:
Poland 🇵🇱 @PolskaSiatkowka reached the #FIVBMensWCH semifinals! Despite the huge pressure from the fans at Pala Alpitour, the Poles easily won the 1st set over hosts Italy 🇮🇹 @federvolley 25-14.
Match centre: https://t.co/nscmWqIhKH#FIVBMensWCH#volleyballWCHs#volleyball pic.twitter.com/bMy68ccx32
— Volleyball World (@FIVBVolleyball) September 28, 2018
Prior to the tournament, there were a lot of uncertainty surrounding the defending champions’ chances at the competition. These uncertainties only seemed to grow as the Polish squad dropped games to France and Argentina on Round 2 of the tournament. Since then, it has steamrolled through its opponents, and will next face Team USA for a chance to make the competition’s finals.