Kenia Carcaces gave a superb performance to lead Cuba to their first victory of this FIVB Women's World Championship
Matsumoto, Japan, October 31, 2010 – Cuba picked up their first win in Group C of the FIVB Women's World Championship on Saturday, overcoming Kazakhstan 3-2 (20-25, 25-15, 27-25, 23-25, 15-10) at Matsumoto City Gymnasium. Both teams were winless going into the match.
FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page
Cuba's Kenia Carcaces scored 25 points, including six service winners, with Yoana Palacios and Rachel Sanchez adding 23 and 20 respectively and Ana Lidia Cleger 17. Lyudmila Anarbayeva led the scoring for the defeated Kazakhs with 17 points while Olga Nassedkina and Olga Drobyshevskaya each tallied 16. Both teams registered 12 blocks while the winners had a 12-9 advantage from the service line.
After Friday's humiliating defeat by Croatia, Juan Carlos Gala's young Cuba team had produced an improved performance in losing to Germany on Saturday and they fought hard for this first victory in Japan. For Kazakhtan, by contrast, the result left them with a 0-3 record so far.
After Cuba pulled back from 0-2 to 2-2, there was never more than a point in the first set until the Kazakhs opened up a three-point gap at 11-8. Gala duly called a timeout to try and reorder his disorganised defence but although Palacios delivered a rocket down the line, the Kazakhs were playing the better Volleyball. Sana Jarlagassova came up with a pair of big hits and captain Inna Matveyeva cracked an absolute bomb down the middle as Kazakhstan moved five points clear at the Second Technical Timeout.
However, the Cubans used their biggest weapon – big spikes – to claw their way back to parity, with Sanchez leading the way. Kazakhstan edged ahead again from 20-20 and three Cuban errors ended the set: Palacios sent a spike long, then failed to handle a serve by Korinna Ishimtseva, and finally a spike by her replacement, Wilma Salas, spun off the net and out of play.
Carcaces landed a couple of huge blows as Cuba gained an early advantage in the second set and a good shot by Sanchez put the Caribbean team five points clear at 15-10. But Kazakhstan got back into the contest following three Cuban errors and a great block by Anarbayeva on Sanchez. Nelli Chsherbakova's charges closed to within a point at 15-14 before Carcaces landed the best two shots of the night to get Cuba back on track: a gigantic thump down the middle and a devastating service ace that put them seven points clear at 22-15 and prompted Chsherbakova to call her players off court. Two more awesome service aces from Carcaces then ended the set, with Cuba having taken eight points in succession.
A series of Cuban errors – both in serving and receiving – helped Kazakhstan take a two-point lead at the First Technical Timeout (FTT) of the third set, but Cuba quickly reversed that thanks to two Kazakh errors and more good work by Carcaces. Cuba were three points ahead at the Second Technical Timeout (STT) though their opponents reclaimed the initiative through a Drobyshevskaya spike, a wide shot by Yusidey Silie and a service reception error by Carcaces. When a Palacios piledriver came back over the heads of the entire Cuban team thanks to an amazing instinctive dig by Matveyeva, the Kazakhs moved into three-point lead at 21-18.
Palacios started the Cuban comeback with a huge hit and Carcaces then took over, sending three missiles through the opposition defence. The scores were level at 23, 24 and 25. Then Carcaces was up to serve again – and she delivered in fantastic style, bringing up setpoint with a rocket that just sped through the Kazakhstan defence and then firing down another to put Cuba 2-1 up.
Kazakhstan responded by taking the first four points of the fourth set, as Cuba took their foot off the accelerator. Gala was forced to call a timeout as his side dropped four straight points to fall 10-5 behind. Another forceful spell of serving by Carcaces brought Cuba back into the game and the two teams were level at 12-12. But Kazakhstan crept back into the lead as Cuba struggled for consistency but the Kazakhs' four-point lead was gone at 20-20 when they failed to deal with a serve by Sanchez. Cuba then moved two points ahead on blocks by Leanny Castaneda and Silie but Drobyshevskaya landed a good spike and Nassedkina made two superb blocks as the advantage swung back to Kazakhstan and two Cuban errors handed the set to Chsherbakova’s side.
Cuba edged in front in the final set through a couple of decent spikes and a reception error and though at 6-3 down Chsherbakova called a timeout, the Caribbean side kept the pressure on. A fantastic dig by Sanchez set up a spike by Castaneda and a bomb by Palacios gave Cuba a five-point advantage at 10-5. There was no way back for the Kazakhs. A spike by Cleger brought matchpoint and the same player then hit a rocket to finish off the contest.