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World Grand Prix 2005 - Match Descriptive

Match Descriptive

Italy beat Cuba 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 32-30, 25-15) - duration 1:42
16-Jul, start time: 12:35, end time: 14:17 - Attendance: 4'280
City: Sendai; Hall : Sendai City Gymnasium
Italy win third straight as Cuba collapse
Sendai, Japan, July 16, 2005 -- Italy proved much too strong for an inconsistent Cuba, winning 3-1 in the first match on the third day of the World Grand Prix Final Round on Saturday.
Italy, with 23 points from Valentina Fiorin, won 25-18, 21-25, 32-30, 25-15 to improve their win-loss record to 3-0.
Cuba slipped to 1-2.
Cuba, with Rosir Calderon immediately into her groove on the left, jumped out to a 6-2 lead, forcing an Italian time-out.
But when Jenny Barazza turned a Yumilka Ruiz spike into a blocking point, Italy were level at 12-12 and in the ascendancy.
Fiorin, impressive throughout this tournament, brought up set point with a winner on the left, and Nadia Centoni closed out the first set 25-18 with a delicate drop-shot.
Centoni was a constant menace to the Cuban blockers, but the Cuban offence was now beginning to spark.
Yanelis Santos gave them some variety on the right, and the power serving of Zoila Barros was crucial toward the end of the second set, which Cuba won 25-21.
There had been few rallies during the first two sets, and the third continued in similar fashion as the teams fought fire with fire.
Italy's Serena Ortolani was quick to make her mark when introduced by Italy, but a Nancy Carrillo quickfire special earned Cuba a slender 16-15 lead at the second technical break.
In a tense end to the third set, Cuba missed two set points and Italy finally took the set 32-30 on their sixth opportunity with a soaring Fiorin drive down the right. The marathon set had lasted 31 minutes.
Italy sensed victory in the fourth set, while Cuba looked flat, and the Europeans led 16-12 at the second technical break.
From 18-14, Italy won six straight points, before Fiorin, fittingly, ended the match 25-15.