Poland, champions at the 2019 Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland, bounced back after their previous night’s defeat to Brazil and shut out Thailand for their fourth win at the 2021 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League in Rimini, Italy on Sunday.

Poland, which clinched the 5th place at the 2019 VNL, repeated the similar feat over Thailand, the team they had beaten in straight sets in the previous edition, after powering past the same rivals in thrilling three-setter 25-23, 25-15, 25-20.

As Thailand fielded the similar lineup which stunned Germany 3-1 in the previous match including four veteran players, Onuma Sittirak, Pleumjit Thinkaow, highly-experienced setter Nootsara Tomkom and Malika Kanthong, Poland were also strong with the likes of the powerfully-built Magdalena Stysiak, the 203cm opposite spiker who is in the tournament’s second-place top list of Best Scorers and Best Attackers.

Hard-hitting Zuzanna Gorecka also joined the Poland’s lineup, while smashing machine Malwina Smarzek, who became the best scorer during the preliminary round in the 2019 edition, did not compete in this match, watching her teammates play from the player bench seats.

Poland dominated the whole game to cruise to a 3-0 win against Thailand. Zuzanna Gorecka chipped in with 18 points for Poland, while Magdalena Stysiak assisted with 16 points. Onuma Sittirak led Thailand with 10 points, with Karina Krause, Malika Kantong and Pleumjit Thinkaow adding 9, 7 and 6 points respectively.

Thailand’s Karina Krause said at the virtual Mixed Zone: “Today we were not ourselves and we couldn’t find our rhythm, so our performance was not good. Today we didn’t manage to play like yesterday. Tomorrow we want to do our best.”

Poland’s Zuzanna Gorecka said: “It was a very important match for us. We wanted to win this game and I’m very happy that we won it. It’s difficult to play against a team like Thailand because they play a lot of combinations. It’s not the style of volleyball that we are used to seeing, but we managed to handle it. Tomorrow we have another game, so we have to stay focused and give our best to earn another win. I think we played very well in defence and in attack and these were the decisive elements.”

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