Tokyo, Japan, June 5, 2016 – Poland dashed Australia’s Olympic hopes after the European side won 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 27-25) at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday.
The Australian loss gave away the final Olympic ticket available at the Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo to Canada.
Dawid Konarski led Poland with 18 points, then Rafal Buszek, Mateusz Bienek and Artur Szalpuk added 10 points each. Nathan Roberts top scored for Australia with 12 points.
Australia started with an 8-6 lead. However, they started to show fatigue, while Poland had fresher legs and were more active on the court. Australia lost their momentum after Nehemiah Mote’s service error that allowed Poland to move up 21-19. Poland a 3-1 run that closed the set 25-21. In the second set, Poland controlled the pace and jumped to a 6-4 lead after a blistering spike from Szalpuk. Australia tried to contain the Polish run but latter mounted a bigger advantage at 16-9. Poland outscored the Australians, as Konarski led their offence and established their biggest lead at set point 24-13. Australia managed to score two more points before Poland took the set 25-15 for a 2-0 set-advantage.
Poland started the third set with a lead but Australia improved, as Paul Carroll got his offence going. Australia took the lead 20-17, but Poland made a run that tied the score at 20-all. Konarski’s spike gave Poland the advantage 21-20. The momentum swung on both sides, until Poland got the final break on two consecutive blocks on Roberts 27-25.
Before the start of the match, the teams, officials, staff and spectators observed a moment of silence for Andrzej Niemczyk, one of the most outstanding figures in Polish volleyball and the former women’s national team coach.