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 Match info | Description
Bulgaria wins tough battle over Cuba

Tijuana, Mexico, July 18, 2009 – Bulgaria had to battle hard to defeat Cuba 25-23, 25-22, 27-29, 25-23 in 1 hour and 44 minutes. The victory earned the Bulgarians a spot in the Final Eight round of the Women’s Junior World Championship.
Dobriana Rabadzhieva recorded 21 points and Elitsa Vasileva added 15 for Bulgaria while Viktorina Grigorova and Gabriela Tsvetanova contributed 10 apiece. Cuban Wilma Salas also scored 21 points and Yudith Pumariega, Yoana Palacios and Gyselle Silva added 17, 15 and 12 respectively.

Bulgaria relied on good blocking to take the lead 8-4 and extended the gap to 12-6 in the first set. Several Bulgarian mistakes combined with the improved Cuban attack led by Salas, shortened the bridge to 16-14 at the second pause. Block by Giel and defensive fault by Bulgaria tied the score at 18. With the score evened at 21-21, Salas’s spike was too long but she redeemed herself with a bomb. A wide spike from Vasileva gave Cuba the lead 23-22 forcing a time-out of Bulgaria. Grigorova tied the score again and Ruseva blocked for set point. The wide attempt by Palacios closed the set 25-23 for Bulgaria.

Tsvetanova’s spikes and blocking outmatched the exploits of Cubans Palacios and Salas towing Bulgaria to the lead 8-6 in the second set. Two consecutive kills by Rabadzhieva expanded the margin to 11-7 and Cuba called a time-out when the difference widened to 13-8. The second technical stop found Bulgaria in front 16-10. A four-point rally sparked by Salas with help from Silva’s powerful serves shortened the distance to 16-14. Cuban Pumariega was hitting in high gear late in the set, but Rabadzhieva helped to maintain the difference then combining kill and ace for a 24-20 lead. Palacios answered with block and spike but Vasileva hammered a spike for the 25-22 win.

Bulgaria was in front 8-7 in the third set with Ruseva helping the cause with block and spike for the last two points of her side. After a time-out at 12-9 following several mistakes, Cuba responded with a three-point rally behind the attacks of Palacios and Salas to tie the score at 12-all en route to a 16-14 advantage at the second technical time-out. Bulgaria tied the score via ace and spike of Vasileva and went ahead 18-17 with Rabadzhieva’s spike. Pumariega produced the parity for Cuba. At 19-all, Grigorova block was answered with a bomb by Pumariega. Teams kept trading blows to remain tied and at 27-all, Silva blocked the spike of Rabadzhieva and Palacios’ attack sent Cuba to the win 29-27 in the fourth set-point situation.

Cuba benefited from two aces of Marcillan and a couple of spikes by Pumariega to take the lead 8-5 in the fourth set. Cuba expanded the gap to 14-10 only to see how Bulgaria tying the score at 14-14 with two spikes of Rabadzhieva and par or aces by Boncheva. At 15-all, Bogdanova mishandled a set-up allowed Cuba to go ahead 16-15. When action resumed, Cuba scored three consecutive points what seemed a comfortable margin because Bulgaria came back to tie at 20 on the shoulders of Vasileva and Tsvetanova. At 21-all, the attack of Palacios was too long and Ruseva blocked for the two-point lead. The spike of Rabadzhieva sent Bulgaria to the win 25-23 and to the Final Eight round.



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