Lodz, Poland, September 16, 2014 – Mariusz Wlazly’s excellent attack game worked to extinguish Brazil’s fiery winning run in the tiebreaker (25-22, 22-25, 14-25, 17-15) in the first Pool H match in the third round of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship at the Atlas Arena on Tuesday.
• Poland managed to win a set against Brazil in the World Championship for the first time since 1970
• Poland played their third five-setter in a row.
• Wlazly scored 29 of his 31 points on attacks to top all scorers, including five points in the tiebreaker.
• Karol Klos’ scored seven blocks in the match.
Coaches of both squads decided to put their recently injured players in their line-ups – Michal Winiarski for Poland and Sidnei Dos Santos Jr. for Brazil.
With powerful spikes and strong blocks Brazil took the lead 7-3 forcing Poland's coach Stephane Antiga to call timeout. The Brazilians showed incredible skills and refused to let their opponents catch up. Brazil led 15-11, to prompt Antiga to make a substitution as David Konaski replaced Fabian Drzyzga. Playing without their setter, Poland scored four unanswered points and levelled the score at 15-all. After the longest and most spectacular rally of the set, Wlazly’s strong spike gave Poland gained a two-point advantage 20-18. Konarski added an ace and Poland carried the advantage until the end to clinch the first set 25-22.
Brazil started well in the second set, taking the 5-2 advantage. The Polish squad were a little bit shaken as they struggled with their passing in the opening stage of the set. Brazil clearly recovered after the loss in the first set and proved to be mentally stronger. Brazil served aggressively, with Lipe taking the serve speed metre to a high of 119 kilometre per hour, putting pressure on their rivals. The substitution did not help the Polish team as quickly as in the previous set, but they eventually managed to reduce the deficit to two points. The Brazilians managed to keep their heads calm and took the second set 25-22.
Brazil carried the momentum from the previous set into the third set and quickly jumped ahead 13-6. Coach Antiga had nothing else to do but to start making changes, putting Rafal Buszek on the court for the first time, then a double-substitution. Brazil took a commanding lead 20-12 with a barrage of attacks on the Polish block. Poland seemed tentative on offence that allowed for the Brazilian blockers to mount their solid blocks. Poland were held to score only two points as the Brazilians cruised to third set win 25-14.
Brazil led in the fourth set but were profoundly challenged by Poland as the lead was kept at a minimum of two points. Dryzyzga’s good serve and smart set plays kept his team’s score close to the Brazilian lead. Brazil lost its momentum as Wlazly blasted strong spikes, destabilising the Brazilian defence for a 23-18 lead for Poland. A reception error by Brazil’s Felipe Fonteles sent the game to a tiebreaker as Poland clinched the fourth set 25-18.
As the masters of tiebreaker matches, Poland showed a spirited start in the final set to lead 7-3. Lipe’s drop shot cut the lead down 7-5. Lucas Saatkamp’s service error brough the three point lead back at side change 8-5. Brazil finally retaliated with three unanswered points for a deadlock at 8-all. Brazil’s Ricardo Lucarelly foiled Wlazly’s attack to takeover the lead at 12-11. Mateusz Mika scored on a block to tie the score at 13-all, then a service error put the Polish squad for the first match point. Saatkamp extinguished the fire off the Polish blockers’ hands for another tie. Brazil then took the lead but Wlazly took his turn to save the second match point. A Polish attack was called out but coach Antiga called the challenge that went on for a favourable reversal of a ball touch