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USA survives grueling battle with Poland

Tijuana, Mexico, July 21, 2009 – USA battled for five sets against Poland and emerged winners 21-25, 25-11, 24-26, 25-19, 15-11 in a match of Pool H of the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship for positions 9-to-16.
Americans Alexis Olgard and Amanda Dowdy had 16 and 15 points while Morgan Broekhuis and Alexandra Hunt each scored 12 apiece. Tamara Kaliszuk topped Poland with 15 points and Maja Tokarska and Sylwia Chmiel recorded 14 and 11 points respectively.

Poland relied on the consistent attack of Tamara Kaliszuk, who recorded four points, to take the 8-7 lead in the first set. Amanda Dowdy kept USA close with three spikes. The combo of Martalek and Wosloz provided better comfort to Poland who arrived to the second stop in front 16-13. The Americans tied up at 17-all on the shoulders of Olgard and Broekhuis. Tokarska recovered the advantage for Poland and at 19-18 Kaliszuk and Brida hit consecutive spikes for the comfort as the Europeans won 25-21.

The Americans took the 8-5 lead in the second set with both teams making many errors. The heavy hitter Olgard send her USA side to a comfortable lead of 16-9 at the second pause. It was the same the rest of the way and Broekhuis closed with a thunderous spike for the 25-11 win.

Once again the early lead 8-5 went to the American team but Poland came from behind and took the advantage 11-10 on spike and block by Kaliszuk. USA came back and led 16-15 at the second technical time-out. Poland improved its blocking with a consistent job by Tokarska to get in front 21-18 and when the Americans tied at 24 with the spikes of Hunt and Broekhuis, Kaliszuk emerged to hit consecutive kills for the 26-24 Poland win.

The Americans arrived to the first pause leading 8-4 relying on their defensive game at the net led by Olgard. They expanded the gap to 13-9 but Poland mounted a reaction to cut the distance to 16-14 at the second technical time-out. Starting from that point, the Americans were conducted by the spikes of Hunt and Lilla Frederick who closed the action with spike and block for the win 25-19.

The Americans went ahead 2-0 behind a block by Broekhuis and spike of Hunt but the gap evaporated and Poland tied at 4-all with a block by Tokarska. The same Tokarska hit a spike and blocked for a slight advantage at 8-7. The Americans were able to come back strong. Olgard and Shaw were the key players for the victory 15-11 in the tie-breaker.


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