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Press release

Hosts Kazakhstan beat Cuba to capture first win


Kazakhstan used their experience to good effect in their win over Cuba

Almaty, Kazakhstan, August 17, 2013 – Pool K hosts Kazakhstan savoured their first taste of victory in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix on Saturday by beating Cuba 3-1 (25-20, 17-25, 30-28, 25-20) at Baluan Sholak Sport and Culture Palace. The home-side surged to an early lead with Irina Shenberger and Alena Omelchenko leading the attacks from the wings and Olga Nassedkina dominating the middle. The Cubans left their floor defence wide open, as Kazakhstan took an 8-3 lead by the first Technical Time Out. Errors proved costly for Cuba, as they could not set up their hitters while Omelchenko continued to score which gave Kazakhstan a 16-10 advantage. Rosanna Giel Ramos strengthened Cuba’s middle, with quick attacks and blocks, while Melissa Teresa Vargas Abreu performed steadily from the service area. Kazakh hitter Sana Jarlagassova later picked up on scoring to close the first set 25-20 for the hosts. Communication lapses continued on the Cuban side notably in their defence. Kazakhstan took the initiative and setter Korinna Ishimtseva set up a number of combination plays. Cuba later brought in their trademark power offence, with Vargas Abreu and Yoana Palacio Mendoza hitting their targets and the young Cuban team raced to a 16-13 lead at the second Technical Time Out. Alena Rojas Orta then found her form in defence and put in a number of key blocks that allowed Cuba to win the second set 25-17. In the third set Kazakhstan began to guard the net better and managed to secure an 8-4 lead by the first Technical Time Out. Jarlagassova and Shenberger continued as the prime weapons in the Kazakhs’ offence, while Rojas Orta provided the scoring spark for Cuba. The hosts edged ahead 16-15 edge by the second Technical Time Out, due to a service error on the Cuban side. Hitter Vargas Abreu responded for Cuba, but Shenberger had found her form attacking from the flank. A block by Giel Ramos made it 23-23, where each point was hotly contested thereafter. An attack error then cost Cuba the third set, 30-28. Jarlagassova once again led the Kazakhstan offense in the fourth set and despite Giel Ramos and Vargas Abreu upped their attacks to keep Cuba within distance at 14-14. Blocking paved the way for a Kazakhstan rally, while Cuba’s floor defence became to flag and the home-side finally captured victory with a 25-20 win in the final set.


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