Łódź, Poland, June 25, 2016 – Russia claimed their first victory this weekend after a non-easy four-set encounter against the reigning world champions Poland 3-1 (25-17, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15).
The battles between Poland and Russia are always a big volleyball entertainment for the fans. Polish supporters know it best and they crowded Atlas Arena to support their heroes.
Poland lost despite the good performance of Bartosz Kurek, who earned 21 points for his side as the best scorer of the match. Victor Poletaev added the most points to the Russian result, scoring 19 times.
From the very beginning Dmitriy Muserskiy tried to frighten Poles with his powerful spikes. Polish Eagles did not seem to be too bothered, even when Russians took a two-point lead at the first technical time-out. The home team regained the missing points quickly – Bartosz Kurek and Bartosz Bednorz took the responsibility in attack and tied at 13 all. Poland, however, soon lost their focus and Sborna broke away with six points at 20-14. Viktor Poltaev’s attitude and hosts’ own mistakes plunged Stephane Antiga’s team as they lost 25-17.
Similarly to the previous part, Russia started building their advantage in the early stages of set two. The White-Reds managed not to lose concentration and doubled their efforts to catch the opponents. It worked and Artur Szalpuk’s fantastic spike from the left wing defeated the Russian wall, achieving a tie at 14. Polish defence could not handle kills by both 21-year-old Poletaev and Egor Kliuka, which resulted in 20-18 for guests. Coach Antiga asked for timeout twice, but his players were still unable to touch the rivals. Poletaev scored the last point with a massive hit and the set ended 25-20.
Team captain, Sergey Tetyukhin opened the last part with an huge spike through the double block. Poland did not give up and kept fighting point by point against Russians. Dmitriy Muserskiy helped the home team with spoiling the serve again and Poles claimed their first lead in this set at 12-11. Kurek tried to do his best in spiking, but Poletaev found a way to block him. The reliable Polish crowd gathered in Atlas Arena did not let down and guide their players to the win 25-20.
The Olympic Champions got angry and Tetyukhin tried to kill Poles’ reception with powerful serving. Mateusz Bieniek answered with a huge spike, but Russians were unstoppable in the court and built up a comfortable lead of 16-11. Hosts stepped up their efforts but it was not enough to chase Vladimir Alekno’s team. Kurek missed the serve and gave a match ball to Sborna. In the final action a triple block stopped Bartosz Bednorz and sealed the score at 25-15.