VNL: Poland rises to 2nd in standings after sweeping Canada

The Poles are ecstatic after rising to number 2 in the standings. Cesca Rampas
By John Rhey Piamonte

PASAY—With the preliminary phase down to its last two playing days, world no. 1 Poland kept its hot streak going after a sweet 25-21, 25-23, 27-25 sweep against Canada in the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on Saturday, at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Poles now hold the second spot in the team standings after improving to a 9-2 record pulling ahead of USA (8-2) who earlier suffered its second loss in the tournament after a five-set thriller against Argentina.

Though it ended in a sweep, Canada went head-to-head with the mighty Poland squad as both teams put on a show for the Filipino faithful in attendance. 

The Poles' blocking served as the determining variable in those close sets with Norbert Huber scoring a kill block to break the tie, 17-16 midway through the first set, and another massive rejection that put an end to set 2 at 25-23.

"We know that Canada is a good team. It is a tough game for us. But we came prepared and made sure to finish better than Canada. We are very happy that our blocking was on point and finish it in three sets,"  Huber said on the post-game conference.

It was a neck-to-neck battle in the third with Wilfredo Leon nailing an ace that put Poland back in the set after trailing two points behind. 

An ace from Brodie Hofer later sent Canada at set point, 24-25. But Poland once again answered back with a quick set right in the middle for Karol Klos to tie the game, 25-all. 

Outside hitter, Kamil Semeniuk delivered in the clutch and brought Poland to the finish line as he secured the game-sealing block, 27-25. 

Semeniuk and Huber both ended with 11 points each for the fiery Poland troop. 

Meanwhile, Samuel Cooper topped the scoring chart after a 19-point showing in a losing effort for Canada.

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