Poland and Russia claimed three-point victories on day one of the second stage of FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship 2021. In their opening Pool F matches at the Levski Sofia volleyball hall on Monday, the Poles defeated Brazil in four sets, and the Russians shut out hosts Bulgaria.
Poland, Russia grab three points each on Pool F opening day
The two European teams beat Brazil and hosts Bulgaria, respectively
Published 05:59, 27 Sep 2021
Poland took the first three points in Pool F after a 3-1 (28-26, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23) victory over Brazil. In the first set, Brazil offered some excellent serving to recover from a four-point deficit and push it to overtime, but with captain Michal Gierzot dominating at the net, Poland took the lead. In the second set, the Polish blockers were on fire with seven stuffs to help double the team’s advantage. Stepping up the blocking on their side, the South Americans took set three, but then the Europeans largely improved their spiking (18 kills, including Jakub Czerwinski’s match winner) to claim the fourth and the victory.
Brazil’s opposite Darlan Souza hammered out the match-high 30 points. Outside Michal Gierzot contributed 22 to Poland’s victory.
“It was a tough match! We were fighting hard in all the sets, but in the end, we managed to win, which is the most important thing. We are very happy now! The key today was the team spirit demonstrated on our side. Win or lose, we always do it as a team,” Poland’s setter Dawid Pawlun told Volleyball World.
In a hard-fought match, Russia downed hosts Bulgaria in straight sets, 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19). All the sets, especially the first two, were quite competitive, but in the money time the Russia demonstrated cooler nerves and made fewer mistakes to run away with the win. Roman Murashko leading the way with seven points and some strong blocking by the Russians helped them claim the first set, but it was a spectacular ace by Omar Kurbanov that delivered the winner. In sets two and three, the Bulgarians committed far too many unforced errors, especially in serving, to let the opponents cruise on to a straight-set victory. A monster block by Russian outside hitter Stanislav Dineykin finished the match off.
Bulgarian outside Aleksandar Nikolov was the top scorer of the match on 15 points, followed by teammate Samuil Valchinov and Russia’s Roma Murashko with 10 each.
“Bulgaria are a good team. The group is very difficult and complex. We want to be among the first two teams who will play for the medals in Italy. That's why we fight for every match and look for the victory,” Dineykin said.