Osaka, Japan October 29, 2010 - Defending champions Russia serviced notice of their intent to keep hold of their crown with a four-set (21-25, 25-9, 25-17 25-11) victory over the Dominican Republic in the opening match of Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship at Osaka Municipal City Gymnasium on Friday afternoon.
After dropping the first set, Russia came storming back as the young Dominican squad tired and eventually ran out of gas. Ekaterina Gamova led the way for Russia with 20 points – the 202cm Gamova was a dominant force, scoring 15 points on attack alone, while Tatiana Kosheleva added 15 points. Prisilla Rivera finished with 16 points for the Dominican Republic who made 26 errors to Russia's 16 in the match.
FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page
Marcos Kwiek's team made a bright start to the opening set, taking a 7-3 lead before Russia ran off three straight points to pull back to 7-6. In the space of four points, Lisvel Elisa Eve then blocked or redirected three shots to help the Dominicans move 12-6 in front. Russia responded with a four-point sequence to make it 14-10 but their opponents kept pushing and extended the advantage to 23-14. Vladimir Kuzyutkin's team then scored six straight points to close the score to 23-20 before Rivera finished off the set with a deft tip – her seventh point of the opening set.
Russia quickly turned the tables by taking a 12-4 lead in the second set behind some fierce spikes from Gamova and company. She scored 13 points as the holders ran away with the set, prevailing 25-9. Gamova shone again in the third set which Russia won 25-17, producing an impressive save before returning to deliver the block that gave her team an 18-11 lead.
The momentum had now clearly swung Russia's way after the Dominicans' spirited efforts early in the match. The eastern Europeans were consistently rebuffing their opponents at the net and they wrapped up the win by taking the fourth set 25-11. Russia will play Turkey next on Saturday, while the Dominicans will face Korea.