News article

Poland beats China to finish ninth



Poland's ninth place finish is an improvment on their 2006 result when they finished 15th.

Tokyo, Japan, November 14, 2010 - Poland defeated China in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) in a heavy-hitting match to finish ninth at the FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday.

Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale top scored for Poland with 19 points while Wang Yimei recorded 18 for China.

The win reverses Poland's straight sets loss to China during the second round and is only their fifth in 18 matches against the world No. 3 while 10th place is an improvement for Poland on their 2006 performance when they finished 15th.

Ninth place is China's worst World Championship result since 1974 when they finished 14th and follows a fifth place finish in 2006.

Poland conceded a 3-1 lead at the start of the match but bounced back to go ahead 7-5 on a spike by Glinka-Mogentale. China missed two serves, and Joanna Kaczor hit an ace to put Poland up 14-11. Juan Li scored after a long rally, and Kaczor's spike sailed long to bring China within 15-13. Anna Werblinska crushed a spike but netted a serve, and Zhou Suhong missed long to make it 17-14 for Poland. Poland used their ace Werblinska as a decoy and looked instead to Kaczor, who ruthlessly attacked Chinese ace Wang Yimei, hobbling on a bad knee. But Wang used her long reach to dig out some big saves, and she smacked a winner from the right wing, as China stayed within striking distance at 18-16. China thought they had won a point, but a spike bounced off Milena Sadurek's foot and back into play, forcing China to hit another winner. Poland's double-hit gifted China a point, shrinking the lead to one. Poland retook a brief China lead on Kosek's spike and a lucky net-chord serve to 22-20 before China fought back to equalize at 22. With set point up, Agnieszka Bednarek-Kasza served long but Poland won the next point to take the set 25-23.

In the second set, China called a time-out early as they fell behind 6-3. Poland continued to use Kaczor with success, and hammered their way to a 11-5 lead, forcing another China time-out, as coach Yu Juemin tried to adjust to Poland's tactics. Wang's tip and Werblinksa's missed spike helped China crawl back to 11-7. Werblinska missed long again trying to go over the Great Wall of China blockers. Trying to stay a step ahead tactically, Poland altered their attack, looking more to Werblinska and Glinka-Mogentale, who smacked winners from the left wing to lift Poland to 16-11 ahead. Zhou's dipping service ace brought China to 16-13 while Poland regained the points on Glinka-Mogentale's hits to go up 18-13. Glinka-Mogentale's spike, this time from the right wing, made it 19-14. Ma Yunwen's block and a missed Polish serve gave China a glimmer of hope at 20-16. But Werblinska took command of the net, smacking a winner and tapping down another, while Wang replied with a monstrous hit from the left wing to make it 22-17. Again, the quick-leaping Werblinska hit a laser to put Poland ahead 23-17. China scratched back with three straight points on deflections, forcing Poland to call time out to curtail China's rise. The coach's decision paid off, as Glinka-Mogentale's placement found a gap in China's middle and her deflected spike gave Poland the set 25-21 and a commanding two-set lead.

Poland jumped on China early in the third set, with three straight points until Xue Ming's block. The wounded Wang, unable to elevate, smacked a serve into the net, while a healthier Werblinska did the same at the other end, to even the set at 5-5. Jie Yang's spike deflected out, and her serve put China ahead 8-7. Sadurek's ace off the net put Poland back in front 10-9. Wei Qiuyue flubbed a set, and Wang's spike was rejected, as Poland broke a series of deadlocks to go up 14-12. Wang's thunderous spike helped China equalize at 14-14. Yang bobbled a ball off the net, and Poland surged to 18-15 before Werblinska again served into the net. Glinka-Mogentale nailed a spike from the left, and Wang blocked Werblinska to tie it for China at 19-19. Glinka-Mogentale and Wang traded heavyweight hits to level at 21-all. Poland's versatility began to show through, as they attacked through Glinka-Mogentale, Werblinka and Kaczor, while China looked almost exclusively to Wang. Kaczor's missile from the right gave Poland match points at 24-22, and Okuniewska's spike finished China off at 25-22.