Magdalena Stysiak Poland USA Volleyball Nations League 2024

Magdalena Stysiak led all scorers and helped Poland get their eighth win in the Volleyball Nations League 2024

The United States and Türkiye will head into their big duel in the second week of the Volleyball Nations League 2024 at 15:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday coming from different results as while the Americans fell to undefeated leaders Poland on Saturday in Arlington, the defending champions got a sweep over Korea at the College Park Center.

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Involving the teams ranked third and fourth in the FIVB World Rankings, the match between Americans and Polish was among the most anticipated of the week in Texas and ended with the Europeans prevailing over the home side with a 3-1 (29-27, 25-22, 20-25, 25-23) victory, in a rematch of last year’s VNL bronze medal match, which was also held in Arlington.

With the win, Poland added as many as 6.96 ranking points and successfully defended their third place in the Ranking, elevating their total to 373.16. The Olympic champions dropped the same amount but remained in fourth place, with 349.76.

Star opposite Magdalena Stysiak had an amazing performance in Arlington, scoring 27 of the Polish points in the match, with 24 kills, two blocks and one ace. Outside hitters Martyna Łukasik and Natalia Mędrzyk added 14 and 12 points respectively for the European side.

“We all expected a big battle, but I’m still a little bit shocked,” Stysiak commented. “We know how strong the Americans are, but we also believe in our volleyball and we’re so happy for this victory because beating teams which are among the best in the world is really important for us. We’re feeling incredible now because we entered the VNL without any pressure as we’re qualified for the Olympics. We’re playing very freely and we see the team growing a lot, especially with our mentality.”

Jordan Larson USA Poland Volleyball Nations League 2024

Jordan Larson serves during the match against Poland

Tokyo Olympics MVP outside hitter Jordan Larson carried the American offense, with 21 points (20 kills, one block), followed by opposite Jordan Thompson, with 18 (16 kills, one block, one ace).

“I think we just have to learn how to finish games,” Larson reflected. “It came down to a few points towards the end and we kind of shied away from what our job was. It was disappointing because we are better than what we showed today. For tomorrow, I think it’s just about showing up consistently. There are plays where we just misread or misplaced some things and these can win us matches.”

With the result, Poland continue to sit at the top of the VNL 2024 standings with their undefeated campaign of eight wins and 24 points and are very close to securing a spot in the Finals. The Americans are seventh with four wins and three losses (12 points).

Türkiye sweep Korea

In the first match of the day in Arlington, defending champions Türkiye secured their fifth victory in seven VNL 2024 matches by downing Korea 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-20).

Melissa Vargas and Derya Cebecioğlu combined to produce 30 points in the third Turkish victory in Arlington, with the star opposite registering 16 (12 kills, three blocks, one ace) and the outside hitter adding another 14 (ten kills, three blocks, one ace).

“Our next match against the USA will be a tough one and we’ll need to play as a team,” setter Cansu Özbay reflected. “I feel like we’ve been playing better by each day, but against them, we’ll need to work really hard on blocking and defense because they have amazing hitters.”

Cebegioglu Turkiye Korea Volleyball Nations League 2024

Derya Cebecioğlu had a strong showing againt Korea, scoring 14 points

Outside hitter Kang Sohwi, with nine points, and opposite Moon Jiyun, with eight, were the most productive Korean players in the encounter.

The Turkish added just 0.43 World Ranking points with their victory, but continued comfortably at the top of the rankings with 385.71. The minor point drop also didn’t affect the Asians, who keep their spot as the 38th-best women’s national team in the world right now.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

A third and final match will be held on Saturday in Arlington, with Serbia and Bulgaria facing each other at 20:00 local time (01:00 GMT, Sunday).

Besides the match between Americans and Turkish, another two duels will be held on Sunday, the last day of action in Texas, with Korea and Canada meeting at 11:30 local time (16:30 GMT) and Bulgaria and Germany completing the schedule at 18:30 local time (23:30 GMT).

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