Poles and Americans top Australians and Bulgarians before their encounter on Sunday

Published 05:04, 26 Jun 2022

Klos helped Poland sweep Australia ahead of the meeting against the Americans

Reigning world champions Poland and three-time Olympic champions the United States did a great job of setting the scene for their highly-anticipated Volleyball Nations League 2022 encounter on Sunday as both teams claimed solid victories in their third matches in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday.

Undefeated on the second week of the tournament, Poland cruised past Australia to a straight-set (25-17, 25-19, 25-14) win while the Americans needed four sets (25-12, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23) to overcome hosts Bulgaria.

Polish coach Nikola Grbic began the match with regular starters Bartosz Kurek, Kamil Semeniuk, Marcin Janusz and Jakub Kochanowski on the bench and gave other players the opportunity to shine against the Australians.

Karol Klos Points (Poland vs. Australia)

“We’re feeling very well this week here in Sofia,” Kwolek commented. “In the first week, we had a younger team on the court, with very few players with international experience, and emotions were really high. We’re playing better and better and that’s our goal. It feels like we’re improving as a team and everyone is getting better. We knew that the matches against Brazil and the USA would be the most difficult of this second week.”

Ensing and Jendryk challenge Bulgaria’s Atanasov at the net

The Americans, on the other hand, were more reliant on individual performances to face the home crowd and build their four-set victory against Bulgaria with opposite Kyle Ensing and outside hitter Aaron Russell leading the team with 20 and 16 points, respectively.

The 25-year-old Ensing was unstoppable at the net, producing 17 of his 20 points in kills at an excellent 68.18% efficiency rate. Russell had ten kills to his name, but also a match-high four aces and two blocks.

“It was just about remaining patient”, libero Erik Shoji said about the match. “We were just patient that we would make plays on defence or that they would eventually make mistakes. They played great in set two, but we fought back and that’s the main thing. It’s going to be a fun match against Poland. It’s going to be a battle and everything that we want in the VNL.”

Kyle Ensing Top Plays vs. Bulgaria

The match between Poland and the USA will start at 16.30 local time (13.30 GMT).