A good crowd enjoyed the five-set battle between Cuba and Puerto Rico in Gurabo
Gurabo, Puerto Rico, September 13, 2015 – Cuba held off hosts Puerto Rico to claim a five-set 3-2 (25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 11-25, 15-7) victory in a contest between winless teams of Pool A at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship on Sunday.
After winning comfortably the first two sets, the Cuban side experienced serious defensive problems in the reception area forced in part by the good serves of Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, they were,able to recover to dominate in the tie-breaker.
Liset Herrera led three Cuban players with double figures in the scores with 13 points, followed by Claudia Hernandez and Kitania Medina each with 10 points. Karla Santos had a match-high 17 points for Puerto Rico while Paolo Rivera finished with ten in the loss.
Cuba roared past Puerto Rico in the first set they won 25-14. The more athletic Cubans led 8-4 and 16-8 at the technical time-outs with left-hander Kitania Medina leading the way.
The second set was not different with Cuba establishing their game based on power against a Puerto Rican side that put in a late big effort. Cuba led 8-5 and 16-10 before finishing 25-20.
Cuba led 8-6 in the third set but suddenly lost composure and Puerto Rico tied at 12-all and took a 16-13 advantage into the second pause before winning 25-20.
In the fourth set, Puerto Rico used accurate serves to take an 8-3 lead and arrived into the second TTO in front 16-8 with Karla Santos scoring with effective spikes. Puerto Rico forced a tie-breaker by winning 25-11 with one ace by Santos.
In the tie-breaker, Cuba jumped to a 3-0 lead with spike and ace by Claudia Hernandez and was in front 8-4 when teams traded sides following spike and block by Ailama Cese. They never looked back winning 15-7.