Kurek finished with 25 points to counter Russia’s top scorer Dmitriy Muserskiy, who had 20 points. Poland outscored Russia in attack 53-46, with Rafal Buszek, Mateusz Bienek and Michal Kubiak adding up to the world champions’ firepower.
World Cup 2011 winners Russia and runners-up Poland started the first set with an exhilarating exchange of attacks that kept the scored tied. Poland gained a two-point cushion midway through the set, then extended it with a 24-20 edge. Poland were not able to close the set and on sideout, Alexander Butko’s serve somehow shattered Poland’s reception that allowed them to level the score at 24-all. Russia snatched the lead at 26-25 but Mikhaylov’s spike from the left flank was blocked to instigate another deadlock. Russia prevailed 28-26 from their block and a Polish turnover.
Russia were leading in the second set but Kurek’s heroics helped Poland to gain an 18-15. Russian setter Butko helped his team get back when he tipped the ball to the other side and then followed-up with a block on Kurek at 22-all. Russia reached set point but a reversal of fortune went Poland’s way in the second set 27-25. The Polish side displayed strong determination and kept their rhythm the entire time. Poland took the third set 25-19. Even when they were down in the fourth set, the Polish side patiently executed their plays until they got several breaks that headed to match point, and a final attack that landed on the line for set and match victory 25-22.