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Korea beat Cuba in five-set thriller

Korea's Yeon-Koung Kim spikes as her side overcome Cuba in five sets
Zielona Gora, Poland, August 12, 2011 – Korea clinched a tight win over Cuba in five sets (17-25, 25-16, 25-17, 23-25 and 25-12) on Friday as they began their second weekend of 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix action in Zielona Gora, Poland.

Yeon-Koung Kim of Korea topped all scorers with 24 points, followed by Cuba's Yoana Palacios Mendoza (20 points).

2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
August 5-28

Cuba started the first set well as they quickly jumped ahead to a five-point-lead at the first TTO (8-3). They continued to dominate (13-6) before Korea coach Hyung-Sil Kim was forced to call a timeout at 14-6. However, it did not help his side as they were not able to level the score. The Koreans did not lose the will to fight, but Cuba was better in every element as they easily picked up the set to take the lead.

Korea woke up in the second set as they eventually jumped ahead to a three-point-lead at 11-8. After that they continued their domination, extending the lead to five points as Cuba lost their focus, losing out to a number of spike errors as the Asian side drew even at 1-1.

Korea carried their momentum through to set three as they took the early lead, increasing the advantage to five points up to the first TTO. They stayed focused, keeping a firm grip of their advantage throughout while Cuba fell behind making more errors allowing Korea to take the lead for the first time in the match.

The fourth set started well for Cuba as they gained a narrow advantage, but the Koreans quickly levelled the score (4-4). The Cubans changed their style of play and took control over the set and despite a gritty Korea fight back the Caribbean side stayed ahead to take the match to a decisive tie break.

Both teams came back on the court full of determination and strength in the fifth and the score stayed close until the Koreans jumped out to lead 7-5. Playing better in block and committing less errors, Korea maintained the advantage (12-10) and took the set 15-12 and with it the match.

On Saturday Korea will challenge the hosts, Poland, while Cuba will face Argentina.


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