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World Grand Prix 2005 - Match Descriptive

Match Descriptive

Cuba beat China 3-2 (10-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-13) - duration 1:50
13-Jul, start time: 11:37, end time: 13:27 - Attendance: 3'800
City: Sendai; Hall : Sendai City Gymnasium
Cuba beat China in five-set thriller
Sendai, Japan, July 13, 2005 -- Cuba fought back from two sets down to beat China 3-2 in a thrilling opening match of the World Grand Prix finals on Wednesday.
The Olympic champions won the first two sets 25-10, 25-20, but the Cubans finally found their rhythm and took the next three, 25-19, 25-20, 15-13.
China began in ominous form, and capitalised on Cuba's early confusion at the net.
After going ahead 12-6, China won 10 straight points behind the power serving of Chu Jinling.
Chu was also effective on the left side of attack, and Yang Hao found similar success later in the first set.
Cuba found it just as difficult to break through China's defence in the second set, but a brilliant spike down the middle from Zoila Barros showed what they were capable of.
Gradually Cuba began to click into gear, but China were too far in front.
Cuba saved three set points before Yaima Ortiz served wide and handed the second set to China, 25-20.
In the third set, Cuba had the rare luxury of a three-point lead, 16-13, at the second technical time-out, and an alert piece of play at the net from Nancy Carrillo moved Cuba ahead 21-17.
On Cuba's first set point, a thunderbolt serve from Yanelis Santos was too hot to handle, and Cuba took the set 25-19.
Cuba were really flying now, and captain Yumilka Ruiz was becoming increasingly influential on the left in defence and attack.
Cuba had become the more consistent and confident team, reaching the second technical time-out in command of the fourth set, 16-9.
On their first set point at 24-20, Carrillo made no mistake with another powerful service winner to tie the score 2-2.
Cuba turned round 8-7 ahead in the decider, and the teams traded points until Cuba won it 15-13 on their first match point when Chu's effort on the left was blocked.