Lodz, Poland, June 3, 2018 – Germany’s captain Lukas Kampa delivered an off-the-net ace to close off a sensational 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 21-25, 27-25) win over table leaders Poland in the sixth leg of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
The German setter crowned his great overall performance in the match when it mattered the most, on his team’s first match point, and rounded off his tally to six points - two spikes, two stuff blocks and two aces.
Kampa’s top-level setting skills provided for quite a well spread scoring distribution for the German squad, with Moritz Reichert (one ace) and Simon Hirsch (one ace, four blocks) topping the chart with 12 points each, while Marcus Boehme finished with 10, including two aces and three stuff blocks.
Poland’s captain Michal Kubiak also showed a tremendous performance on the other side of the net and became by far the best scorer of the match with 21 points – 15 spikes, two aces and four blocks.
Once again, the sold-out stands at the Atlas Arena in Lodz tried to take on the role of Poland’s additional player, but with Hirsch leading the way, Germany outperformed the home heroes in the first two sets. Kubiak led his teammates on the path of a spectacular comeback, winning the third set and reaching set point in the fourth, only to concede the team’s first loss in the competition. For Germany this was only the second win in the Volleyball Nations League and first over Poland in a major world level competition since 2010.
In what was already a very tense fourth set, in which the nerves took over and both teams committed way too many unforced errors, the lead had already changed hands a few times, when Kubiak elegantly tipped the ball for a 24-23 set point for Poland. Another set point came at 25-24, again after a successful Kubiak spike off the opponents’ block. With mercury rising in the hall and the fans getting well into the mood for an exciting tie-breaker set, Marcus Boehme shot through the middle to draw level. Simon Hirsch delivered Germany’s match point with a fantastic kill block and Lukas Kampa finished the job with an off-the-net ace and a little bit of good luck.
Having played at home during the first two weeks of the competition, Poland will now travel to Osaka to play against Bulgaria, Italy and hosts Japan. The Germans will make the trip to Ottawa to meet Australia, USA and the home team of Canada. The matches are from June 8 through 10.