Mateusz Bienek (#20) scored 12 points in his debut at the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship
Varna, Bulgaria, September 12, 2018 – Poland became the first team with two wins in Pool D of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship. Despite missing their two highest scorers from the victory against Cuba the world champions made a quick work of Puerto Rico for a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-15) success.
It had to be a quick turnaround for Poland after Wednesday’s late night finish. Bartosz Kurek was left on the bench and Mateusz Bienek made his first appearance of the championship. Aleksander Sliwka and Damian Schulz were the other new names in the starting line-up but the world champions didn’t skip a beat. An 11:3 series midway through the first set, highlighted by a couple of Grzegorz Lomacz aces, made the score 17-8. And the rout was on. Suffocating block and over 70% success rate in attack – the recipe for a 25-14 Polish win in Set 1.
The second was no different. Seven consecutive points opened a 14-7 difference. Coach Vital Heynen got a chance to rotate more and often players on the court. Dawid Konarski and Bartosz Kwolek both made their debut at the championship and the latter secured the set 25-12 with a thunderous spike.
There was no easing back for the Poles despite the 2-0 lead. World champions saved their best for the last set. 72% success rate in attack, four aces and in an hour and 16 minutes it was over.
Aleksander Sliwka led all the scorers with 13 points. Bienek added 12, Kochanowski finished with 12.
Poland is off on Friday.
The world champions continue their 2018 campaign on Saturday against Finland.