Cuba beat Canada 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 15-10) - duration 2:02
31-Aug, start time: 17:00, end time: 19:02 - Attendance: 2,900 Cuba close to a disgrace
Titleholder Cuba was close to a disgrace on Saturday during their second match of the preliminary round of the Volleyball World Championship in Schwerin. After an exciting five sets thriller the Cuban still has chances to move to the second round. The defending champion won their first match only after five long sets. The numerous spectators in the Schwerin Sport- and Kongresshalle saw volleyball on its highest level. The Canadians were nervous only for some minutes and played one of their best matches ever. Especially setter Anne-Marie Lemieux put her attacks on the scene. Cuba, with 16 years old Nancy Carillo in the starting six, made too many mistakes. Super star Regal Torres was a mere shadow of her former self. During the short time she was on court the "player of the century" seemed to be bored and not committed. The Olympic Champion of Sydney could not take advantage of a 8-3 leading and lost the first set with 22-25. The second set was very equal. The Cuban outside attacker Marta Sanchez converted the first set ball to win this set with 25-22. Joanne Ross helped her team to lead by four points after a series of good serves. Cuba, the second of the FIVB world ranking, could keep up with the fast play of the Canadians and lost this set 21-25. In the fourth and fifth set the Canadian team had to give up the fastness of the beginning of the match. The team of coach Lorne Sawula didn't have enough power to fight against the strong attacks of the Cuban team. Cuba finally claimed the victory by winning the decider 15-10. For Cuba, this victory was defenately needed. The formation of head coach Filipe Calderon cannot loose to many matches. On Sunday the strong and undefeated The Netherlands is on the other side of the net. This clash will be another test for the three time World and Olympic Champion. Cuban Yumilka Ruiz added 24 points to her tournament total and was the best scorer of the match. On the Canadian side, Barbara Bellini and Joanne Ross both scored 12 points.