Tijuana, Mexico, July 25, 2009 – Cuba dominated China in straight sets by score of 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 finishing in the ninth position.
Yoana Palacios and Wilma Salas were Cuban top guns with 17 and 14 points respectively while Rosanna Giel and Gyselle Silva produced nine apiece. Liu Xiaotong led China with 11 tallies.
The first set was a close battle from start to finish with Cuba leading 8-7 and 16-15 at the stops. At 18-17, China had a three-point rally for a 20-18 advantage but Cuba answered back with three consecutive points to retake the lead 23-21. At 24-22, Salas hit a soft spike that landed in the center of China’s side for the 25-22 win.
Cuba built an 8-3 lead in the second set. Salas was effective with her spikes, blocks and serves, recording half of the Cuban’s points. The distance in favor of Cuba was still of five points (16-11) at the second rest. At 23-18, Zhang Yicham scored with two spikes but Palacios responded with a missile. The same Palacios finished hammering another spike for the 25-21 win.
Palacios’ soft touches provided the difference in favor of Cuba 8-5 at the first stop in the third set. Three consecutive spikes by Liao Xiaotong neared China within one point (9-8) prompting a Cuban time-out. Then Palacios and Salas came back strong and gave Cuba a 16-12 advantage. The Cubans extended the lead to 21-14 but China reacted narrowing the distance to 21-17. It was Palacios again for Cuba for the 23-18 lead. Ace by Hernandez and spike from Liu prepared the stage for a final cannon-shot by Salas ending the set 25-19.