Montreux, Switzerland, June 13, 2010 - After their victory in 2007, China return to the highest step of the podium at the Montreux Volley Masters after defeating USA 3-1 (23-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20) in a spectacular final on Sunday, confirming their impressive form ahead of the 2010 World Grand Prix. In the playoff for bronze, Cuba beat Russia 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 27-25) while Poland finished fifth after defeating the Netherlands 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-12).
From the very beginning of the match, it became clear for the 2’400 spectators that the final would be highly competitive. Thanks to an excellent tactical performance, the Americans turned this final into an amazing game. While the United States convinced with an excellent block-defense strategy, the Chinese women enchanted the audience with well-timed attack combinations. The starting set finished on the tied score of 25-23 in favour of the USA. In the second set, the Americans controlled the game until 16-10, but then China hit back with some important points when they were most needed. This was also the turning point of the match. Although the game was highly balanced and very entertaining, the Chinese were always a bit faster, higher and better. After two hours, the Asians celebrated their fifth tournament victory in Montreux.
In the match for third place, Cuba were able to make fewer direct mistakes than during the semifinal against the USA, which notably helped them overcome a destabilized Russian team. Indeed, deprived of Goncharova, Russia suffered from a bad overall reception and couldn’t control their opponents’ offense. The score of the first two sets well reflects the difficulties encountered by the players of coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin who would most probably have preferred Ekaterina Gamova, present in the Pierrier gym, to put on her jersey and use both her experience and her 202 cm for the benefit of her country. To top things for Cuba, Kenia Carcaces was named MVP of the tournament and finished also as the best scorer of the competition.
Meanwhile, Poland dominated the entire game for fifth place. Physically in better shape, the girls of Jerzy Matlak put on a better performance than their opponents. For instance, three players finished with at least 10 points, while on the Dutch side only Manon Flier stood out with 13 points. “This victory is not very surprising for us as we were feeling better,” Katarzyna Zaroslinska, best scorer of the game with 17 points said. “We are also happy that we finally defeated the Netherlands.” Indeed, Poland lost twice during the European Championship last year against the Netherlands, but also in the qualification match earlier this week. It is the second time that the Polish girls have finished fifth in Montreux. “We didn't have the energy to win today,” Avital Selinger, coach of the “Oranjes” said. “During this week we have faced many ups and downs, but the various tests I made will help me a lot during the season. This experience brought more self-confidence to the young players, especially to Laura Dijkema, our 19-year old setter.”
Best Scorer: Kenia Carcaces (CUB)
Best Receiver: Ruogi Hui (CHN)
Best Spiker: Tatiana Kosheleva (RUS)
Best Blocker: Berenika Okuniewska (POL)
Best Server: Liyi Chen (CHN)
Best Libero: Nicole Davis (USA)
Best Setter: Qiuyue Wei (CHN)
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Kenia Carcaces (CUB)
2. United States
6. The Netherlands
7. Germany & Japan
For more information visit also the official website of the 2010 Montreux Volley Masters: www.volleymasters.ch