Poland's Mariusz Wlazly has been the leader of Poland team but he has not been alone in the contributions to the success so far
Katowice, Poland, September 20, 2014 – It was forty years ago in Mexico City when Poland claimed their only shot at glory in the men’s volleyball world championship.
And, of course, it would be like a dream coming true to repeat history at home.
The world’s No 4 Poland came close to winning again in 2006 but had to settle for the silver in Japan following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil. But now they appear to be ready for a second time at the highest step of the podium.
The home crowd favorites, the only team to defeat the three-time defending champions Brazil in the tournament, look to continue their outstanding run when they meet the 10th world-ranked Germany in the second semifinal match at Katowice Arena on Saturday.
Playing at home with the enthusiastic support from their loyal fans they are considered strong candidates to advance but first they need to clear the big hurdle represented by the tough Germans.
The Poland team have been able to rise to the occasion by winning four five-setters in a row behind the superb performance by their opposite player Mariusz Wlazly, the leading scorer of the competition with 197 points.
Wlazly, who also tops the list of best spikers with a 53.07 % of success, has not been alone as big contributor to the 10-1 composite win-loss record. It has been a team-effort with the trio of Michal Kubiak, Mateusz Mika and Michal Winiarski also as big offensive suppliers.
Poland along with Brazil are the only team to score 10 victories in the tournament with their only loss to the United States 3-1 to start the second round of the competition.
On the other hand, Germany have depended mostly on the amazing Gyorgy Grozer, who leads the tournament as the best server while being the third top scorer with 160 points. They will need a more consistent contribution from the rest of the squad to overcome Poland.
The most recent meeting between these two teams was at the 2011 European Championship when Poland recorded a 3-1 victory. In the only previous semifinal match, Poland defeated Bulgaria in 2006.
“I believe in my team and I’m pleased because all my players have performed well and they never give up,” Poland’s coach Stephane Antiga says.