EP_VNL_2022_BEL-POL-100

Herbots in one of her 84 spikes against the Polish block

Volleyball Nations League 2022’s top scorer Britt Herbots put on a stellar performance to help Belgium secure their second victory in the tournament on Saturday, in Quezon City, the Philippines.

The dynamic outside hitter tallied 33 points as the Belgians came out on top of a five-set (25-20, 15-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13) thriller against European rivals Poland in their third match in the second week of the tournament, improving their record to two wins and five losses in the VNL 2022.

“It was an incredible match, just insane,” she said after the match. “I’m very happy because we were down four or five points in the fifth set and fought back in an incredible way. I’m super proud of my team because Poland played really well, especially in defence. Everyone stepped up and helped and these are two golden points for us. Every point counts as we’re fighting to return next year.”

· Watch all VNL 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

Herbots, who leads all scorers in the event with 168 points, became just the second player to produce 33 points in a match this year, joining Japanese captain Sarina Koga, who achieved the same output during the opening week, in a five-set duel against Germany.

The Belgian outside hitter scored all of her 33 points in kills. She was easily the most used played on the court, being set an impressive 84 times. The second most used Belgian player, fellow outside hitter Celine van Gestel, had only 25 balls to spike the entire match.

Herbots ended one of the most spectacular rallies of the match, flying from the backcourt to hit and finish a 34-second play and score 10-6 for the Belgians in the opening set. She did it again early in the second set, hitting hard from the right to ensure both teams were even at three points.

Herbots' top play in the fourth set was a ferocious backcourt hit that gave the Polish defenders no chance and brought the Belgians closer at 8-9. She came up big in the tie-breaker, scoring seven points, which proved key to her team as they overcame a 10-6 deficit. She also scored three of the last five Belgian points in strong spikes and watched a block by Silke van Avermaet bring the match to an end.

Britt Herbots Points Made Leader in Belgium vs. Poland

Middle blocker Marlies Janssens was another productive player for the Belgians, and scored 12 points in six kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. She was the only Belgian player besides Herbots to score in double digits.

Poland also had a high-scoring player of their own in outside hitter Martyna Lukasik, who left the court with 25 points (22 kills, two blocks, one ace). Opposite Martyna Czyrnianska also had a good night, adding 21 points in 18 kills and three aces.

Belgium will end their participation in the second week of the VNL on Sunday, at 11.00 local time (3.00 GMT), when they face Bulgaria.