Suwon, Korea, May 28, 2011 – Korea pulled off an early shock in the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League as they saw off a lackluster Cuba in straight sets (25-20, 29-27, 25-18) in front of their delighted home fans in Suwon on Saturday morning.
It is the first time the side has beaten Cuba since 1984 and ends a 37-game winning streak for the NORCECA team.
Cuba arrived in Suwon after an overnight trip from Europe and their tiredness was evident as they made many unforced errors.
Newcomers Jeon Kwang-In and Choi Hong-Suk helped carry their side to an early lead and they continued their dominance in attack to take the first set 25-20.
The second set was a fierce battle between the two teams. Korea’s confidence was already high and Cuba was under pressure from the home side’s fast attacks. From 17-17, Korea and Cuba repeatedly switched leads in a seesaw game. After deuce scores of 24-24, 25-25, 26-26, and 27-27, Shin Yung-Suk tipped the ball over the Cuban block to clinch the win, with Jeon scoring 13 points in the set.
Korea came storming out in the third, taking a phenomenal 8-0 lead that put Cuba on the back foot. The visitors continued to make unforced errors before Hernandez Ramos’ serve hit the net to gift Korea the win.
Jeon topped all scorers with 20 points while Cuba’s Hernandez Ramos scored 14.
The two teams will meet again on Sunday at 5:00 GMT.