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Czechs post first win by overpowering Puerto Rico

Captain Ivana Plchotova of the Czech Republic in action during the match against Puerto Rico in Hamamatsu

Hamamatsu, Japan, October 31, 2010 – The Czech Republic defeated Puerto Rico in straight sets (25-14, 25-14, 25-17) on the third day of Pool B action at the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship at Hamamatsu Arena in Japan on Sunday.

The stronger, heavier Czech side simply out-powered their opponents around the net with some blistering spikes and an impenetrable defensive wall that Puerto Rico could find no way around. It was the first victory of the competition for the Czechs, who led comfortably in each set of a match that failed to match the excitement of some of Saturday's thrillers.

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

In the first set, Jiri Siller's Czech Republic stormed into an 8-1 lead. Puerto Rico tried to hustle their way back into the set and had the crowd on their feet in one rally that featured Aureau Cruz and company splayed over the court diving for balls. But some miscommunication and unforced errors kept them behind by ten points at 17-7 and it was only a matter of time before Czech captain Ivana Plchotova led a strong attack to win the set at 25-15.

The Europeans stayed on top with their powerful attacking in the second set, led by Aneta Havlickova, and Kristyna Pastulova. They led comfortably throughout out the set, at 9-5, 15-10 and 21-13 , and eventually doubled their lead at 25-15. In the third set, the Czech defensive wall of Pastulova and others repeatedly repelled Puerto Rican attempts to spike through it rather than around it.  Carlos Cardona's team gained a glimmer of hope by pulling within three points at 17-14 but the hill was too high to climb, and the Czechs eventually cruised to a 25-17 win.

After a day's break on Monday, Puerto Rico will play Brazil on Tuesday, and the Czech Republic will face Italy.

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