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Press Info - Match Description
Kazakhstan ends Olympic debut with first win

Algerian head coach Mouloud Ikhedji

Beijing, August 17, 2008 -- Kazakhstan beat Algeria 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 25-16 ) on the last day of the women's volleyball preliminary round, as the two teams battled for the first ever Olympic Women's Volleyball victory for their respective countries. Both teams were winless coming into the match and were out of contention for a quarterfinal spot.

"We're going to leave (Beijing), and after that we will have a vacation," said Olga Grushko of Kazakhstan, "It is my first Olympic Games. We came here with a goal to play every game well, and we have already achieved that."

Yelena Pavlova of Kazakhstan beat the Algerian blocking with spikes from all over the court as her team took the first two sets.

Algeria fought back in the third with Mouni Abderrahim attacking through the middle and the team took their first set of the Olympic Games when Pavlova spiked into the net.

"It's our first time to win a set in the Olympic Games. This is not only a historical moment for an Algerian team, but also for an African team," said Algerian player Raouya Rouabhia.

Kazakhstan got back their rhythm in the fourth set, with Pavlova and Inna Matveyeva commanding the net and helping them to the first win of their Olympic debut.

Algeria clinched their first Olympic Women's Volleyball appearance after winning all of their four matches at the 2008 African Olympic Qualification tournament. Kazakhstan claimed the 12th and final berth as Asian qualifier for Beijing 2008 at the final qualification tournament in Japan in May 2008. Their first Olympic tournament came after their first world championships in 2006 and their first World Grand Prix in 2007.