The first two sets were of concern for coach Stephane Antiga of Poland
Wroclaw, Poland, September 6, 2014 – Following a fiery battle for the first two sets, Poland managed to win 3-1 against Cameroon (25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 25-22) in the last match of Pool A at Centennial Hall on Saturday.
Poland kept their unbeaten record at 4-0 with 12 points while Cameroon are still looking for a victory after four outings.
• Poland dropped a set for the first time in the competition
• It was the first match ever between the two teams at the world championships
• Cameroon have lost their last six matches at the world championships
Dawid Konarsky was Poland’s top scorer with 18 points followed by Michal Kubiak with 16 while Andrzej Wrona and Marcin Mozdzonek chipped in with 12 and 11, respectively. Cameroon’s Jean Patrice Ndaki and Nathan Wounembaina finished with 20 and 18 in the loss.
Cameroon began the match highly concentrated and totally relaxed as they surprisingly took the lead. Sem Dolegombai, Nathan Wounembaina and Jean Patrice Ndaki Mboulet played some perfect spikes which Poland could not cope with. The hosts were obviously astonished with Cameroon as they had terrible problems with reception and attack. Head coach Peter Nonnenbroich’s team came off the court for the first technical time-out with a 8-5 lead, which was met with disappointment by the Polish fans. Following the break, the Europeans came closer to Cameroon thanks to Mateusz Mika and Mariusz Wlazly’s kills, however before the second time-out the African side were still leading. Mistakes by libero Krzysztof Ignaczak partially caused Cameroon to lead 20-15. Head coach Stephane Antiga was forced to ask for two time-outs and substituted Wlazly and Pawel Zagumny with Fabian Drzyzga and Dawid Konarski. That changed the Polish team as they gained five points in a row and managed to take a lead but Cameroon did not give up. With many Polish mistakes and a bit of luck, the African team won 27-25 after a successful block by Dolegombai.
In the second set, the situation had not changed. The Cameroonians were still dictating terms and the hosts were unlike the team from the last three matches. They were making a lot of service errors and their block was ineffective. Meanwhile, for the first time in Cameroon’s team, every player was gaining points including the likes of Maliki Moussa who stopped Wlazly. Again, Nonnenbroich’s team established a five-point lead. The hosts were desperately looking for their chance, at the technical time-out the African side were 16-13 ahead. Ndaki Mboulet and Wounembaina were punishing the Polish defence with smart kills. Poland made up to level the score to 19-all thanks to great Marcin Mozdzonek serves and Michal Kubiak’s, as he was scoring points with spikes and block. When the set came into a decisive moment, Konarski gave Poland a lead after a few wonderful spikes. Zagumny gave the hosts a 25-23 victory.
In the third part, the Poles were more focused and motivated. They quickly took a 5-1 lead mainly thanks to Kubiak and Mozdzonek. However, the 5th ranked team according to FIVB Volleyball world rankings, were beaten several times by Cameroon who are placed 22nd. The hosts were keeping a five-point lead following perfect, technical spikes by Konarski and Rafal Buszek. The block which started to be effective gave the Polish team some vital points. When the scoreboard showed 23-15, the Poles found the style of their game which they had been showing so far in the tournament. Following a Cameroonian error, the hosts won 25-16.
Again, the beginning of the set was very level as both teams were fighting for every point. Poland with Mozdzonek and Konarski’s spikes took a 8-5 lead at the first technical time-out and they extended their result following a block by Andrzej Wrona and Fabian Drzyzga’s kill. The Cameroonians were obtaining points with moves by the likes of Georges Kari Adeke and Mefani Olivier Nongni Zanguim and they caught the Poles. Following the second break, the hosts were systematically increasing their lead as they managed to acquire four points in a row. With Kubiak as a spiker, Poland managed to gain a fourth victory on this championship. The set was finished 25-22 after promising triple block by Buszek, Mozdzonek and Konarski.