Yellow Tigers stun Poland to advance to World Champs Final Round
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Women
Lodz, Poland, January 5, 2014. In the last day of action in Lodz, Spain beat Switzerland in four sets (25-19, 25-22, 15-25 and 25-14) and scored their first 3 points in the qualification tournament to 2014 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship in Italy. However, the real highlight was the final game on schedule where Poland lost to 2013 European bronze medalists Belgium 0:3 (20-25, 20-25 and 25-27). This result gave Belgium the top spot in Pool K and an immediate qualification to the Final Round of the 2014 World Championship.
The last match of the tournament was the cherry on the cake – the Atlas Arena was packed and completely covered in white and red. The game started well for the hosts as they quickly jumped out to 5:2, but Belgium immediately tied the score and they were the ones leading slightly at the first technical time-out. The play continued on a point-by-point basis, but the Poles lost focus and the Belgians scored five unanswered points (18:12). They remained ahead till the end and picked up the set 25-20.
Poland started the second set highly focused, determined to tie the overall score. From its first actions, the fight in the set was very fierce. Belgium stayed slightly ahead, but the hosts managed to level the score at 12:12, thanks to Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale’s powerful kills and Anna Werblinska’s serves. However, the guests once again got ahead (21:17) and the Poles were unable to catch them this time. Belgium took the set 25-20 and the count in the match moved up to 2:0.
In set 3 the Poles managed to finally take the lead (10:8, then 14:11), but then the Belgians scored a series of points and left the opponents behind at the second technical time-out (16:14). Poland fought very hard and managed to tie the score at 19:19. After a true thriller at the end of the set, Belgium used their first match point to win the set 27-25 and the entire match 3:0.
“We were very nervous today,” said Poland captain Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale after the game. “But we are professionals, so we cannot blame this loss on the nerves. We should have played better.”
The head coach of Belgium Gert Vande Broek said: “In the last two days Poland was very strong in attack, they had 60% of efficiency. Today it was a lot lower. We played very well in defense and block, which was the main trouble for them. We also served well and I think we deserve this qualification. The level of this match was very high, but the pressure of the crowd was on them and it helped us a lot.”
In the first match of the day, Spain beat Switzerland in four sets (25-19, 25-22, 15-25, and 25-14) and scored their first 3 points in the qualification tournament to the 2014 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship in Italy.
Both teams started the match highly concentrated, eager to get their first points in the tournament. The play continued on a point-by-point basis, until the second technical time-out, when the Spanish players finally managed to jump ahead to 16:13. After that they remained on top till the end of the set and picked it up 25-19.
The next set was a repetition of the previous one – the beginning was very tight, with Spain taking the lead, this time at 12:8. However, at 23:18 for Spain, Switzerland suddenly regained their focus and nearly tied the score (23:22 for Spain). Nevertheless, after an error in spike on the Swiss side, the Spanish celebrated victory at 25-22.
Set 3 continued the pattern – the score stayed close, but then for the first time in the match the Swiss took the lead at 13:11. After that they refused to lose the grip of the advantage and took the set 25-15, setting the overall score at 2-1 for Spain.
In set 4 Spain quickly recovered from the defeat and jumped ahead to a six-point lead at the first technical time-out. They maintained the advantage throughout the set and even increased it (23:13) to win the set 25-14.
“Today we saw a Spanish team that was very solid,” said Switzerland head coach Timothy Lippuner. “They made few mistakes, but it was a good, close game. I wanted to see my team react after two losses and I think we are on a good way. I’m glad we won that third set, the two young players that I brought to the court did a great job and really took the game in their hands.”
Spain captain Helia Gonzalez: “We started the game really good. We lost concentration in the third set, because they started playing a lot better in block and defense. We managed to get up from that. We really wanted to win after those two hard losses to Poland and Belgium, it was very important to us.”
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