Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The Polish volleyball team won the Volleyball Nations League 2023 championship against the American team (3-1). According to the experts, it was one of the best sports meetings in the entire VNL this year.
The Poles started the 1st set very well and gained a marginal point lead. Unfortunately, after a few more actions, the Poles lost the lead and tied for a long moment with the American team. A good serve by Mateusz Bieniek and a block by Leon made the score 11-9 and the American coach asked for a timeout. The Polish team’s two-point lead was maintained thanks to Wilfredo Leon’s strong play, but both teams did a great job blocking their opponents’ attacks. When the block did not stop the Poles and did not produce the expected results, the American team professionally exploited the gaps on the court or attacked after the block. However, the Poles’ play was variable, especially when it came to their serve, and this decided the fate of the first set, which they won 25-23.
The second set started very evenly. Both teams showed good serve receive. The fight was getting tighter and tighter. The entry of Aaron Russell on the court helped the American team to tie the score. The excellent defence of the Americans guaranteed their advantage at the end of the set. A serve mistake by Fornal gave the American team a one-point lead at 22-21. Moreover, Bieniek got injured and had to leave the volleyball court. The Americans’ slanted attacks caused the Poles a lot of problems and the score was 23-23. The first set point did not belong to the Americans and the score was 24-24. However, they eventually won the second set 26-24 and their attacks were 14% better than Polish volleyball players.
A fierce battle continued in the third set. The difference between scores was minor, attacks and serves were really impressive. Poles managed to gain 7 points advantage (20-13) which arose up to 10 points difference in scoring. Karczmarek and Fornal were unstoppable and their attacks could not be blocked by the American team. Thanks to the great performance and predicting the opponents’ moves, the Poles won the third set with a huge advantage (25-18).
Counting till the 4th set, Polish attacks were 27% better than the American team. Also, it started really well for the Polish volleyball team because they scored 3-0. Fornal continued playing in a professional and versatile way and therefore, Poles played with the advantage 6-2. Karczmarek’s attacks were 70% successful which also had a huge impact on the game. Śliwka even managed to block Aaron Russell who cause trouble for the Polish team in the previous set. The highest advantage of the Polish team in the 4th set was 8 points. The 22nd point scored by Huber was taken in a great style which was really appreciated by the Polish fans in the stands. He showed that the Poles have much more tricks and can surprise and dominate the opponents with great service. Eventually, the Poles won 25-18.
It is the first gold medal in the Volleyball Nations League scored by Poland. Congratulations!
1st place: Poland
2nd place: the United States
3rd place: Japan