Poland face USA in path to defend title


Turin, Italy, September 29, 2018 - Defending champions Poland need to get past USA in the semifinals of the 2018 FIVB World Championship to stay on track for a repeat of their 2014 triumph. USA, who have a single world title to their name, from 1986, have not been in a medals round since 1994.

USA celebrate a point in Friday's match against Brazil.

• United States and Poland have met six times at the World Championship. Poland leads this head-to-head 4-2.
• Poland won the first four World Championships meetings against United States (1956, 1960, 1970, 1974), United States the following two (1986, 2014). United States were the only team to beat eventual champions Poland in the 2014 campaign.
• This is the first time these teams meet in a World Championships knockout match.
• These teams have met 37 times in major world level tournament matches, with United States leading with 19 to 18 Poland wins.
• United States won the last four encounters at major world level tournaments (2016-2018).
• Major world level tournaments are World Championship, World League, World Cup, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup, Olympic Games.

United States
• After winning their first nine matches at the 2018 World Championship, United States suffered a 3-0 defeat against Brazil on Friday.
• That loss against Brazil was their first in straight sets since their last match of the 2010 campaign, against Russia in the fifth place playoff.
• United States could now lose back-to-back World Championships matches for the first time since 2006, when they lost 3-0 to Brazil and 3-2 to France in the second round.
• United States have won nine matches at a single World Championship for the first time. They have already topped their previous record of eight victories in 1974.
• Jeffrey Jendryk II and Jake Langlois were United States top scorers against Brazil on nine points. Many household names saw no playing time in that match.
• Aaron Russell is now USA's most prolific scorer in the tournament (119 total points).

• Despite a straight-set defeat against hosts Italy on Friday, Poland reached the semifinals. It was their 50th loss at the World Championships (101 wins).
• Poland have reached the semifinals for the third time at World Championships, after 2006 (lost final v Brazil) and 2014 (won title v Brazil).
• Poland have won seven and lost three matches at the 2018 World Championship. Their three defeats in 2018 are as many as they had in their entire 2010 and 2014 World Championship campaigns combined.
• Poland have lost both of their five-setters at the 2018 World Championship after winning all four matches that went the distance in the 2014 campaign.
• Poland could become the first team not named Brazil to reach back-to-back World Championship finals since Italy in 1990, 1994 and 1998.
• Bartosz Kurek is Poland's top scorer at the 2018 World Championship on 118 points, two ahead of Artur Szalpuk (116).