Poland guts out dramatic 5-set win over Thailand

Poland finds just enough of an opening to rally past Thailand. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A steel-nerved Poland crew bounced back from two sets down and gutted out a 22-25, 27-29, 25-16, 25-16, 15-13 victory over Thailand in Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Poland thus notched its fourth win in six matches of the continent-hopping tournament, anchoring its latest win on the precise playmaking of setter Joanna Wolosz.

“She’s great,” said Olivia Rozanski of Wolosz, who plays in Italy’s A1 club league champion Imoco Volley Conegliano.

Rozanski, too, came up huge for Poland. The 25-year-old outside hitter finished with 20 points that included two blocks and added 16 digs.

“It feels great that we won the match. We know that they (Thais) are a really good team so we have to do our best,” said Olivia Rozanski. “I’m really happy that we won and we showed that we too, are really a good team and we can fight until the end.”

Rozanski and her teammates needed to really take things to the distance after Thailand, despite playing shorthanded, took the first two sets of the match.

Thailand took its second loss in six outings.

Martyna Czyrnianska and Weronika Szlagowska each scored 18 points, Kamila Witkowska had 15 points while Klaudia Alagierska added 13 points for the world No. 10.

Chatchu-On Moksri had 26 points, including five blocks, 15 receptions and 11 digs for Thailand, while Pimpichaya Kokram added 13 points and 12 digs before sitting out the fourth set due to injury for the 14th-ranked Thais.

In the second game, Alexa Gray fired 24 points while Kiera Van Ryk added 22 and 11 digs as Canada turned back Belgium, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22.

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