Gora, Poland, August 14, 2011 – On the last day of the second
weekend of 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix in Zielona Gora, hosts Poland beat Cuba 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20) in front of a huge crowd adorned in white-and-red.
Cuba's Kenia Carcaces Opon topped all scorers with 20 points, while Katarzyna Konieczna of Poland led the scorers for the hosts with 15 points.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand
this match, Poland was second in Pool E with three points,
while Cuba were in last with two.
one started well for the hosts who quickly gained a two-point-lead
(4-2), which they later extended to four points (8-4 at the first
TTO). With powerful spikes (more than 60 per cent efficiency) and
blocks, the Poles maintained the advantage, while on the Cuban side
there was a lot of miscommunication, aiding their downfall. Cuba coach Juan Gala
Rodriguez called a timeout at 18-11, but it did not help
his team as the hosts continued to dominate on the court, picking up the set and the early lead.
second set was tight from the beginning but the Poles took the
lead at 7-5 with Katarzyna Konieczna's ace. However, after the first
TTO, Cuba tied the score at 9-9 and a moment later took the lead.
Nevertheless, Poland coach Alojzy Swiderek made a double-change and
the hosts caught up with another service ace (11-11). The play
continued on a point-by-point basis before Poland jumped ahead to
20-17 thanks to great performance from middle-blocker Berenika
Okuniewska. They extended the advantage to four points and took the
set 25-21, settling the overall score at 2-0.
teams started the third set very determined – Poland to end the
match as soon as possible, and Cuba to continue the fight. The score
stayed very close throughout, with a narrow advantage on the Cuban
side (14-13, then 16-14). They extended the lead and coach Alojzy
Swiderek made a double-change. The Cubans wasted five set balls but
eventually won the set 25-23.
Poles carried their momentum from the end of the previous set (where they scored five unanswered points) and started set four by jumping
out to a 6-3 lead. Cuba managed to level the score at 7-7 and were
the ones ahead at the first TTO. The Poles retook control over when coach Alojzy Swiderek changed setters as they
scored four points in a row. Even after Cuba scored a series of
points to tie at 11-11 the hosts were still ahead, committing less
errors. They gained a four-point-advantage at the second TTO and
maintained it throughout. They finished the set with Berenika
Okuniewska's powerful spike, picking up a vital win.
the victory Poland moved to the first place in Pool E, while Cuba
prop up the group.