Poland beat USA to claim first World League title
2012 FIVB World League
Sofia, Bulgaria, July 8, 2012. Poland rounded out its campaign in the 2012 FIVB World League by downing the United States in straight sets (25-20, 26-24, and 25-17) on Sunday at Arena Armeec in Sofia thereby claiming the trophy of this elitist competition for the first time in history.
Poland caught a very good start going up 8:5 in the opening set mainly via a series of blocks before team captain Marcin Mozdzonek got injured to be replaced by Grzegorz Kosok. Michal Ruciak joined the game for Michal Winiarski before the final rush and with the great performance he displayed behind the serving line, he ultimately anchored his side to the final 25-20.
The US Americans stepped up the quality of their performance in the second set but after leading for most of the time, they suffered a kind of black-out thereby paving the way with gold for their opponents who stormed back once again with their imposing blocks to wrap it up at 26-24 for the provisional 2:0.
With their best result in the World League dating back to last year as they had claimed bronze in Gdansk, the guys around head coach Andrea Anastasi could not miss out on such an opportunity to finish atop of the charts and as they profited of the American mistakes, they eventually cruised to the final 3:0 that sealed an amazing World League adventure.
“I am very happy as this is a great moment for all of us” said Mozdzonek after the game. “We beat the USA, one of the best teams in the world, quite clearly, and I hope we’ll continue playing with that same quality also in the coming weeks as our next goal are the London Olympics coming up later this month”. This win brought also a check of $1’000’000 to the guys in red and white jerseys.
Bronze went to Cuba as the silver medalists of the 2010 FIVB World Championship edged the hosts of Bulgaria 3:2 (25-18, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, and 15-12) to cause a major disappointment to the 7’000 fans in attendance on Sunday at Armeec Arena.
MVP: Bartosz Kurek (POL)
Best Scorer: Todor Aleksiev (BUL)
Best Spiker: Zbigniew Bartman (POL)
Best Blocker: Marcin Mozdzonek (POL)
Best Server: Clayton Stanley (USA)
Best Setter: Georgi Bratoev (BUL)
Best Receiver: Todor Aleksiev (BUL)
Best Libero: Krzysztof Ignaczak (POL)
For further information visit www.fivb.org