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 Match info | Description
USA ends its jinx in the championship after a hard-fought five-set win over Slovakia

The American players gather to celebrate their first win in the championship
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 8, 2009 – The Norceca champions USA registered its first win in the top-flight championship, brushing off the fighting Slovakians in exhausting five setter 25-18 19-25 21-25 25-16 15-4.
 Slovakia, fourth place at the European Championship, got off to a brilliant start to take the 7-0 lead, thanks to their scintillating blocking by Jaroslava Smatanikova and Nina Herelova and powerful smashes from the 184cm-tall Nikola Radosova. The USA tried to play cool under pressure and bounced back mightily to catch the tough rivals 16-16. As the Slovakians came out with error-filled performance, the American girls seized the chance to topple the rivals with their excellent teamwork and gutsy display. The USA snatched the first set 25-18.
 Both sides came out with the similar standard early in the second set. At 5-5, Slovakia toughened up their defence and carried out with thundering spikes at the net and powerful jump serves to advance to 17-11. The USA improved their game, with Katherine Bell stretching her arm to smash her way. She helped the USA narrow the gap 18-15. Still, Slovakia had enough in the tank to hold them off and take the set 25-19.
 The third set was more thrilling when the on-going battle was closely contested. However, the Slovakians performed more superbly to capture the pole position 24-17, but could not end the rivals’ challenge at that score. The USA gradually pulled their game together to save four set points before going down 21-25 in the set.
 The 192cm Haley Eckerman gave the USA a strong comeback in the fourth set when she penetrated the Slovakian defence with her difficult spikes for the team’s commanding 16-11 lead. The Americans never looked back from then on to win the effortless fourth set 25-16.
 The USA totally took control in the deciding set, overcoming the formidable Slovakia with their great form to win the comfortable tie-breaker 15-4 and their first win in the championship.

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