The Greatest of Volleyball

Poland vs Italy


By Maya Gawlak

One of the most dramatic matches in volleyball history. Poland vs Italy. So many great plays but many mistakes that could’ve been avoided. Today, we will be talking about what made this game so great. 

To start off, let us talk about the coaches that trained the teams at that time. Gianlorenzo Blengini, the Head Coach of Italy, had coached in 64 tournaments and 360 matches. Currently, he is 50 years old and has stopped coaching since. The Head Coach for Poland, Vital Heynen, has coached in 159 tournaments and 720 matches. He has played for two different clubs, was head coach for nine clubs and was an assistant coach for one club. 

This game took place on June 23, 2019. We will only be looking at the last set of the game, which is the 5th set. The score was 12 to 14. Poland is ahead by two points. They only needed one more point to win the match and the whole game but right as they were about to win, Italy’s right side hit a great set and Poland tried to receive the hit but shanked the ball. Now it’s 13 to 14. Poland still had the match point. This time Poland’s outside, #18, hit the ball too far and didn’t make it in the court. This makes the score a tie; 14 to 14. 

Italy’s crowd was cheering, leaving Poland’s Coach pacing back and forth on the sidelines. Italy serves it out of bounds but that doesn’t matter because in the next serve Italy receives it and dunks it on Poland, making the score a tie again. 15 to 15. 

Italy serves it, Poland receives it and gets a great back row attack, but Italy’s right side spikes it and this time Poland isn’t able to make a great reception. #18 tries to keep the ball alive but the place he tried to pass to is empty. Nobody was ready to help it. Now Italy is in the lead with 16. 

Towards the end of the match, Poland served the ball, and Italy’s libero was able to receive it and pass it directly to the setter who then set the outside. Poland was ready and blocked the outside attack, but that didn’t stop Italy from keeping the ball in play. Italy then passed it over right near the net and Poland tries to spike it but Italy’s blockers were ready. Later when Poland tipped the ball Italy was able to pancake, put your hand flat on the ground to keep the ball in the air, the ball and keep it in play. Poland won the point. 

In the end, Poland won with 25 points. Italy and Poland both played well. They both made great plays and some mistakes. Overall, this match was very dramatic at every moment.