Poland surges back to beat Germany and play Russia for place 5
2012 CEV Junior Volleyball European Championship - Men
Gdynia, Poland, September 1, 2012. After the major disappointment for missing out on the semis, the home heroes of Poland were back in action on Saturday afternoon and they eventually got the right to play for place 5 after edging Germany 3:1 (25-10, 22-25, 25-20, and 25-19).
Poland started out strong (5:1, 10:4) and displayed some fabulous actions to dominate the scene (16:7) and did not slow the pace down up to the end of the set that was sealed by a German mistake (25-10). The second set was much closer, especially since Poland started making some errors, so Germany went up twice (14:11, 16:14) and even though the local guys fought their way back (18 all), the final section of the set was a bit tense, with coach Nawrocki receiving first a yellow, then a red card; Germany moved up 23:20 and even though the Poles closed up to -1, still it was too late to avoid the 1:1.
Germany displayed a good pace also in the opening of set 3 anchored by the spikes killed by Nicolas Marks and the score remained tight up to the second mandatory stop (16:15). After that, Poland’s opposite Maciej Muzaj started his personal show and chiefly contributed to the final 25-20. A very close run unfolded in set 4 up to 13 all, then Poland got control of the operations and could finally pocket the final 3:1 waiting to play the winner of the clash starring Russia and Bulgaria in the match for places 5 and 6.
Russia will challenge Poland for place 5 after the guys mentored by Sergey Shlyapnikov beat Bulgaria on Saturday with the score of 3:2 (25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 15-25, and 15-6) in what was a remake of the 2010 final in Bobruisk. Russia opened the gap by the second technical time-out of the first set (16:12) and eventually controlled the operations up to the end (25-20). Supported by their tallest player, Alexey Kobilev, Russia dictated the pace of the game also in set 2 (8:4, 14:9); Kobilev was regularly called by setter Roman Zhos and he converted many attacks to move the count up to 2:0 (25-22). Bulgaria rushed to a 6:1 lead in set 3 before the score got close up to the second technical time-out; Bulgaria showed great momentum and a spike by their opposite Ivan Ivanov sealed the final 25-21. After a close start (6:6), Bulgaria imposed their quality also in set 4 (8:6, 16:8) and rapidly cruised to the final 25-15 to call for the tie-break.
There Russia found back their best play (3:1, 8:3), Bulgaria made too many errors and this paved the way for the final 15-6 and 3:2 in favor of the players captained by Nikita Axyutin.
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