14. 07. 2019

VNL F6 M: Poletaev excels as Russia stop steaming Poland to play for title defense

Source: volleyball.world; Photo: volleyball.world

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Russia halted steaming Poland in the semifinals of the 2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League and will play for the gold medal.

 

Despite playing with a pretty young squad as major players remained in the country to prepare for the Qualifications for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Poland’s 2019 VNL campaign (11-4 in the preliminary round; No 5) lasted until the semifinals (2-0 in the pool stage of the Final Six), in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Russia (13-4 overall) stood on their way with a 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21) win and will play the final in which they will try to defend the title. Russia were also better in their other 2019 VNL duel, in the preliminary round on June 14 (3-1).

 

The “Zbornaya” gained an early lead in the first two sets of 7 and 4 points, respectively, but did not take both of them. The third set was leveled but ultimately went into the favor of Russia. In the fourth set, the “Zbornaya” got themselves the lead of 17-13 which turned to be unreachable to the world champions Poland, whose 9-game winning streak in the tournament has been interrupted.

Russia’s opposite hitter Viktor Poletaev poured in 24 points through a notable attack success rate of 67.7%. Egor Kliuka served 5 kill aces. Bartosz Bednorz scored 15 points, while Norbert Huber made 5 kill blocks.

2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – semifinals:

Poland – Russia 1-3 (19-25, 26-24, 22-25, 21-25)

USA – Brazil 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-9)

Bronze medal match:

Poland vs. Brazil (22:00 C.E.T.)

Final (July 15):

Russia vs. USA (01:00 C.E.T.)

 

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