‘Tokyo quadruple myth’ Labarini’s Poland beat Brazil to finish third in VNL

The Poland Women’s National Volleyball Team, led by former South Korea Women’s National Team head coach Stefano Labarini, finished the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2024 in third place.

The Poles defeated Brazil 3-2 (25-21, 26-28, 25-21, 19-25, 15-9) in the third-place match at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday to secure the third and final spot in the tournament.

The one-two punch of Lukacic and Stasiak was on point, with 21 and 20 kills, respectively. Brazil was also excellent. Gabi shot 22 points and Bergman 20.

The game was a high-scoring affair. Poland had the 19-16 advantage in team blocking. Six of those points came in the fifth set. It was 스포츠토토사이트 Poland who put up an iron wall in the final moments.

Brazil took a 10-7 lead in the first set. Ace Gabi had a perfect performance on both offense and defense. She mixed strong open attacks with her hitting to torment the Polish defense, while her impeccable blocking kept them from catching up. Poland didn’t go down without a fight. Natalia Medzik read Brazil’s attacking patterns well. She blocked at crucial moments to reduce the gap. Lukacic added to her blocking and Poland took a 16-14 lead.

In the second half, Lukacic’s momentum was unstoppable. He scored point after point as if he was in control. Brazil put up a high wall, but Lukacic managed to break through it, racking up points one after another, and the momentum was completely in Poland’s favor. Then Smarzek, who hadn’t scored on the day, came to life. A cool river spike from the right wing made it 24-20. Medzic sealed the first set with a clever touchout.

The beginning of the second set was a feast for the eyes. Neither team backed down in the firefight. Medzik and Lukasik were the fireworks for Poland, while Gabi and Carroll were on fire for Brazil. After a hard-fought battle, Brazil took the lead. Gabi beat the Polish blocking with a great hit. Then, Carroll blunted the opponent’s window with several well-timed blocks to bring Brazil within 20 points.

Poland didn’t give up and fought back. With Lukasz and Medzik concentrating their blocking, Stasiak stepped up to the plate. He capitalized on his opportunities and finished well, gradually closing the gap. Poland were back in the game, but Brazil had Gabi. With Gabi back in the fold, the gap between Brazil and Poland began to close quickly. Ana Cristina, who came in as the one-point server, served an ace to make it 23-23. From there, it was a back-and-forth battle. Both teams traded points back and forth. After a long deuce battle, Brazil took the second set 28-26.

The third set was just as tight. It was a back-and-forth affair. The game was tied at 14-14. At 8-8, Brazil gave the ball away to Poland after a missed sign. However, Brazil quickly regained their focus and it was back to a long tug-of-war between the two teams.

Poland came from behind. At 14-14, Stasiak scored two straight points. At 16-15, Bawosi broke down the Brazilian blocking line with a fantastic passing move. With the momentum in their favor, the Poles put more pressure on Brazil. Lukacic leaped high from the left side to break through Carroll’s block and score to make it 24-19. Poland never relinquished the lead and took the third set.

Poland stepped up their game. Unlike the previous sets, in the fourth set, Poland came out firing from the start. Instead of relying on digs, they set up a three-person blocking wall to physically defend Brazil’s attacks. It turned out to be a trick. Two consecutive blocks by Stasiak made it 6-3. With the advantage, Poland relaxed against Brazil. They maintained a three-point lead.

Brazil was persistent. They finally tied the score at 14-14, thanks to Bergman’s kills. A service ace from Bergman gave Brazil the lead for good. Poland was also desperate for a win. Smarzek scored a clever touchout to tie the game again. But Brazil didn’t want to lose either. Bergman stepped up again. He continued to rack up points on the left flank to give Brazil the lead again. Gabi’s service aces were also shining. Brazil took a big lead, 22-18. A Taissa kill sealed the set for Brazil.

Cliffhanger fifth set. At the beginning of the set, Poland continued to have fun with blocking. Stasiak added to the score with a sharp straight attack to make it 7-4. The Poles moved the court first, and it was all Poland, as Corneluk made it 9-5 with a smart kill. Corneluk didn’t stop working. A block made it 11-6. Stasiak joined the scoring hunt. He made it 12-7 with a touchdown. The Poles defended their lead well and celebrated the victory.

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