Poland vs. Russia | Semifinal | Highlights | Men's VNL 2019 (HD)

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Chicago, USA, July 13, 2019 – Russia, the reigning FIVB Volleyball Nation League champions, returns to the gold-medal match for the second year in a row after defeating Poland 25-19, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21 on Saturday in Chicago.

Russia Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo on Russia advancing to the championship match: “It is reat. I am just very happy for our whole team. We have many players who have not played much with the national team. I like the atmosphere we have on the team. We are a really compact group. To be in the finals is great. I just hope we can enjoy the moment and enjoy the game. Of course we will do everything we can to win. But the less and less we think about winning, the better it is to just focus on our skills.”

Russia Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo on preparing for Sunday’s title match: “First of all, we need to recover. Yesterday we had to rest our players because we had four days in a row and yesterday was a late match. We had to rest a few of our players. We didn’t have that many practices before this Finals because they were on holiday for two weeks. In this moment, just think about tomorrow as it is a great opportunity for everybody. The Olympic qualifiers comes after that.”

Poland Head Coach Vital Heynen: “Russia was totally better than us. We need good passing and spiking to have a chance against Russia, and we were not good in those to aspect to play with them. I think we were fighting okay. I have a very young and inexperienced team, it is not abnormal that some days they are less good like today. Russia deserved the win. I can live with it that we had an amazing tournament.”

Poland Captain player Marcin Komenda: “This tournament is a very good experience for us because we have a young team here. We are to fight for every ball. We try to play our best volleyball. I think against Brazil and Iran it was very good. Today was worse. But we fought for every ball.”

Chicago, USA, July 13, 2019 - Reigning champions Russia defeated back-to- back world champions Poland 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-22, 25-21) in the first of two semifinal matches in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals in Chicago on Saturday.

Their victory takes Russia into the final of this year’s VNL where coach Tuomas Sammelvuo’s men will attempt to do as well as in 2018 when they defeated hosts France in Lille to win gold in the competition’s inaugural edition.

Russia claimed a three-set win against France in their first match in the Finals on Thursday, before losing to USA on Friday and finishing second in Pool A. Their opponents Poland were victorious in their two pool stage matches, first defeating Olympic champions Brazil in five sets, then beating Iran in four.

Poland - Russia (July 13, 2019)

Head-to-Head
- Poland and Russia (including predecessors) will meet for the 53rd time in world level major tournaments (World Championship, World League, Olympic Games, Grand Champions Cup, World Cup and Volleyball Nations League). Poland lead the head-to-head 34 to 18.
- Since the start of 2016, Poland and Russia have played each other seven times in world level major tournaments, with Russia winning six of those seven recent encounters. Before these seven matches, Poland had won six consecutive matches against Russia (2014 to 2015).
- The last three world level meetings between Poland and Russia took place in the VNL. They met twice in 2018, when Poland won 3-0 in the preliminary round and Russia 3-1 in the final round.
- Earlier in the 2019 tournament, Russia beat Poland 3-1 in the preliminary round on 14 June. Viktor Poletaev (Russia) was top scorer in that match with 18 points.
- Russia and Poland have met once before in the semi-finals of a world level major tournament. In the 2011 World League, Russia won 3-1 and eventually won the tournament by beating Brazil 3-2 in the final.

Poland
- Poland won both final round matches to advance to the Volleyball Nations League semi-finals, 3-2 against Brazil and 3-1 against Iran.
- In the 2018 VNL, Poland also reached the final round, but lost both of their matches at that stage and did not advance to the semi-finals.

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