U.S. comeback falls short against Poland in World Championship quarterfinals

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

The serving of Poland halted both a U.S. comeback attempt and championship aspirations.

The United States after rallying from a two-game deficit allowed three aces in the decisive fifth game as it lost to Poland 25-20, 27-25, 21-25, 22-25, 15-12 on Thursday in the FIVB World Championship quarterfinals.

Poland in the home match had eight aces – two more aces than the United States – with middle attacker Jakub Kochanowski having a match-high three aces. In addition, outside attacker Kamil Semeniuk had two aces in the fifth game.


Despite the loss, two former Penn State players led the United States with more than 15 kills and a .400 attack percentage.

Outside attacker Aaron Russell finished with a match-high 22 kills on a .513 attack percentage, including having 12 kills in the final two games. Opposite Matt Anderson also had 18 kills and hit .485 with a game-high seven kills coming in the third game to help jumpstart the U.S. comeback.

Russell and Anderson were the only U.S. players to have double-digit kills in the elimination loss.

Kochanowski along with the aces finished with 15 kills and zero errors on a team-best .938 attack percentage against the United States. Opposite Bartosz Kurek led Poland with 20 kills and hit .529, while outside attacker Aleksander Sliwka added 11 kills.

Poland out-blocked the United States 9 to 6 en route to advancing to the semifinals against Brazil.