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Cuba earn place in Final Round with win over Italy

Cuba celebrate their win over Italy in Modena
Modena, Italy, July 1, 2011 - Cuba beat Italy in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 27-25) in their second match of the weekend as they recovered from a defeat of Wednesday in Parma to qualify for the Final Round of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League on Friday.

Despite their young age Orlando Samuels team dug deep to earn their spot in the next stage of the tournament.

The increased motivation of Cuba made the difference, but the Italian team still finish on top of pool D with 28 points with 10 wins in 12 matches.

Henry Bell topped the scores with 19 points while Italy’s Michal  Lasko scored 13 points.

Both teams began well with Italy taking the narrowest of margins at 8-7. The two teams went point by point until the second TTO when the host team again went ahead. However five points from Bell saw the visitors take the set.

The teams fought hard in the beginning of the second set but Italy again took the lead. But Cuba again fought back to take a four-point and despite captain Savani trying bring Italy back into the match Cuba again held on to take a 2-0 lead.

Cuba continued their rhythm in the third set and took a two point advantage thanks to their efficient spike and block. Bell continued to put pressure on Italy’s defensive block and helped his side maintain a one-point lead. Italy found their rhythm but despite a fightback from the home side Cuba closed the match 27-25 to move onto the next stage of the tournament.


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