Volleyball: US Men Fall in Five to Poland in World semis
TURIN, Italy - The U.S. Menâs National Volleyball Team will play for bronze at the FIVB World Championship after falling to Poland in Saturdayâs semifinal, 25-22, 20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11.
The U.S. Men (9-2) will play Serbia (7-4) for third place at 8 a.m. PT on Sunday. Poland (8-3) will play Brazil (10-1) for the gold medal at 12:15 p.m. PT. It is a repeat of the final in 2014, which Poland won.
The U.S. Men have not played for a medal at the World Championship since 1994 when they finished third. The U.S. has played Serbia twice this season and won both matches. The first win came during pool play of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, where the U.S. won 3-0. The second came in the very first match of the World Championship, where the U.S. won 3-2.
Saturdayâs match came down to the fifth set where Poland jumped out to a 6-1 lead behind the serves of Fabian Drzyzga. Wit h Poland leading 11-5, U.S. middle blocker Dan McDonnell went on a service run, including an ace and kills from opposite Matt Anderson and outside hitter Aaron Russell; but it was too little, too late. Poland came back with two straight kills to lead 13-9 and put the match out of reach.
âPoland played better than us, even if we gave everything,â U.S. outside hitter Aaron Russell said in a translated quote from the FIVB. âWe fought with courage, and we will try to do it again for the bronze. It's going to be hard, but we will go for the win.â
The U.S. led in kills (65-59) and aces (8-7). Poland led in blocks (13-10) and scored 29 points on U.S. errors while committing 20.
Anderson and outside hitter Taylor Sander led the U.S. with 19 points apiece. Anderson scored on 17 kills, one block and one ace. Sander scored on 15 kills, two blocks and two aces. Russell added 18 points on 16 kills, one block and one ace.
Middle blocker David Smith finishe d with 12 points on seven kills, three blocks and two aces. Middle blocker Max Holt finished with eight points on six kills and two blocks. McDonnell, who platooned with both Smith and Holt, score five points, including two aces.
Setter Micah Christenson had a kill and a block. He set the U.S. to a 50.4 kill percentage while Polandâs was 51.8.
At times, the U.S. slowed down Polish opposite Bartosz Kurek, but couldnât shut him down and he led all scorers with 29 points, including five blocks. Outside hitter Michal Kubiak was also lethal and finished with 22 points.
After trailing 19-10 in the first set, the U.S. Men seemed to find their bearings and used service runs from Anderson and Sander to pull to within three, 25-22, at the final.
That momentum carried into the second set where the U.S. Men used a Russell service run to go from a 17-16 deficit to a 21-17 lead.
The U.S. dominated the third set, leading 17-9. Poland picked up its game and ti ed the score at 22-22. A Sander kill and Poland error gave the U.S. set point. Poland scored one more time before hitting the next ball out to give the U.S. the set win.
Poland held a two-point advantage for most of the fourth set. The U.S. Men stayed close until Poland led 18-17 and scored on three straight kills. The U.S. didnât respond, and Poland forced the fifth set.Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland