Poland stays perfect, Iran out of the running for top spot in Pool D


Varna, Bulgaria, September 17, 2018 – Poland matched its longest win streak at a World Championship since the turn of the century beating Iran 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-22) to remain the lone unbeaten in Pool D. A series that started in 2014 reached 11 victories in a row for the world champions who still have a work to do to win the group in Varna.

Billed as “risky” given their recent history of clashes the third-to-last Pool D match was played in excellent spirit despite the high stakes. Poland quickly jumped 8-3 and 16-11 ahead in the opening set on strength of Bienek and Kubiak’s attacks and two aces by Szalpuk. Iran got within two points late in the set but that was all what the Asian Games champions could do – 21-25.

In a carbon copy second set Poland led almost wire to wire in Set 2. World champions got a five points advantage at the second technical break but a 5-2 series got Iran back. Then it was time for Nowakowski. Two big blocks proved decisive for a 25-20 success.

Iran didn’t manage a single point from a block in the opening two sets but Shafiei and Mousavi put the Asians 6-2 ahead early in the third set. Poland tied the score at 14-14 only to fall immediately behind. At 22-19 Iran had significant hopes for a fourth set but the Asians didn’t manage to score another point till the end. A smashing serve by Kochanowski and a the easiest of taps at the net for Kubiak closed the deal. 25-22 and a second straight sets win for the world champions.

Michal Kubiak was top scorer for Poland with 12 points. Nowakowski, Kurek and Szalpuk each added 10. For Iran Amir Ghafour recorded a personal high at the championship with 17.

Poland needs a point from their last match against Bulgaria to top Pool D and stay in Varna for Round 2. With the loss Iran was eliminated from contention for the top sport and will play in Pool G in Round 2.