Turin, Italy, September 29, 2018 - Poland came back from 1-2 down to beat USA 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11) and claim the second ticket to the final of the the 2018 FIVB World Championship, where they meet Brazil in a rematch of the 2014 gold medal game which Poland won in four sets.
Sunday's medal matches:
• Bronze medal - 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT): Serbia v USA
• Final - 21:15 local time (19:15 GMT): Brazil v Poland
Piotr Nowakowski of Poland spikes form the middle through the arms of USA blocker Max Holt in the semifinals of the 2018 FIVB World Championship.
It was the most complete team of the Final Six against the most intense: a thundering challenge to complete the semifinals of the 2018 FIVB Men's World Championship, that saw reigning champions Poland prevail and proceed to the final where they will meet reigning Olympic champions Brazil, while USA need to quickly regroup for the bronze medal challenge against Serbia.
Poland, as the only surviving team with no players in the Italian Superleague, was the least favorite by the Italian public, but could rely on over a hundred Polish fans in attendance. However, the 11,800 of the Pala Alpitour concurred on at least one thing: that the duel between Michal Kubiak and Taylor Sander was one of the most exciting of the entire tournament.
The raw numbers: the USA captain collected 19 points (50% attack, 2 aces, 2 blocks) while his Polish counterpart brought in 22 (55% attack, 3 aces) and closed the match scoring the last two points.
A breathtaking tie break ended just before midnight here in Turin and saw Poland prevail after a long dominance and a thrilling comeback inspired by Daniel McDonnell. USA were able to catch up from 11-5 to 11-9, but then Bartosz Kurek (29 points) made the difference with a great hit off the American block.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy-Bulgaria 2018
Results and ranking