Kaliningrad, Russia, June 18, 2016 - Russians take a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22) victory over Poland with relief as team bounced back after a loss to Serbia on Friday.
This is the 71st meeting between these nations (including Soviet Union) at major tournaments. Russia have won 49 and Poland 21 of the previous 70. Poland have won six of the last seven meetings, only failing to beat them at the 2015 European Games. This will be the 22nd World League encounter. Russia have won 13 of the previous 21 and Poland won eight, including the last four. Both Russia and Poland are up to claim another World League title. Best player of Russia was Konstyantin Bakun with 14 points, while best player in Polish team was Dawid Koniarski with 13 points.
The match opened with a long time expected showdown between two teams. Russia claimed an early 4-1 lead due to blocking and service of Konstyantin Bakun. Staphane Antiga called a timeout. Afterwards Polish team engaged a close battle but Alexander Volkov spiked over 8-5. Russian team continued to pull back steadily 14-10. Artur Szalpuk performed an ace firstly but Egor Kliuka with a crusher from the left side sent teams to the second technical timeout 16-12. Sergey Tetyukhin with devastating spikes established a 5-point cushion 19-14. Mateusz Bieniek appeared on the court and performed an ace 16-20. Stephane Antiga asked for a video challenge but the ball was in the court 22-18. Poland teams tried to reduce the gap 22-24 with unexpected attack of Bartosz Bednorz. Vladimir Alekno asked for a timeout. Piotr Nowakowski served the ball into the net 22-25.
In the second set Russia and Poland tied up at 4-4 but Sergey Tetukhin was like wizard on the court in service and in reception 6-4. Net violation of Russian player and Poland again leveled the score 6-6. After the block Russian team can increase the gap 8-6. Poland asked for a video challenge but there was no block touch 11-7. Marcin Mozdzonek decreased the margin 12-13. Egor Kliuka safeguarded the lead 16-14. After the second technical timeout Poland made a series of errant attacks and Stephane Antiga asked for a timeout 15-19. Dawid Konarski tried to respond and spiked furiously from the left 18-22. Sergey Tetyukhin played block out 24-19 and Dmitry Muserskiy finished the set 25-19.
Both team were trading points 4-4 until the Russian team headed by Dmitry Muserskiy in attack manage 7-4 lead and Srephane Antiga took a timeout. It was not very fruitful: Alexander Volkov spiked on the empty net 8-6. Russian team can not stretch the lead 8-8 and Vladimir Alekno asked for a timeout. Teams made a series of service in the net 10-12 for Russia. Stephane Antiga used his second timeout. The spikes of Kostyantin Bakun just drilled into the court 16-12. After the second technical timeout Poland had got a chance to change the situation completely 17-19 and with a lot of efforts and outstanding play in defense Poland can equalized the score. Vladimir Alekno asked for a timeout. Konstyantin Bakun performed an ace 23-21. Dmitry Muserskiy again ended the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.