MARTINEZ AND PENA ISABEL LEAD DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TO FIRST NATIONS LEAGUE VICTORY

martes, 22 de mayo de 2018 :: 10:00 a.m.

ANKARA, TURKEY, MAY 22, 2018 - Brayelin Martinez and Yonkaira Pena Isabel both scored 15 points as the Dominican Republic secured their first ever victory in the inaugural women's FIVB Nations League after a tense three-set victory (26-24, 26-24, 25-19) over Argentina.

This Pool 8 clash was expected to be a tight battle between two sides who were still searching for their first win of the Nations League, and both teams looked far from assured in an error-strewn but engrossing battle in the Turkish capital, Ankara, with Martinez' and Pena Isabel's points haul enough to see off a ragged Argentine side, who are now rooted to the bottom of the Nations League with 4 defeats from 4 matches.
Dominican Republic, who had won the previous 3 meetings with Argentina and 5 of the last 7, had too much power with Martinez a constant thorn in the Argentina side with her power at the net, and she was aided by the likes of Annerys Valdez, while skipper Marte Frita marshalled her team-mates defensively.
Anahi Tosi was the game's joint-top scorer with 15 points for Argentina and was always a threat at the net, while Elina Rodriguez and Antonela Fortuna also chipped in with 11 and 9 points respectively.
The first set was incredibly close with neither side able to break clear, but it was the Queens of the Caribbean who led 8-7 and then 16-15 at the first two technical time outs. Marcos Kwiek's girls managed to stretch their lead to 20-17 to seemingly give themselves some breathing space, but his opposite number Guillermo Orduna called an Argentine time out and it appeared to do the trick with his side claiming 6 of the next 7 points to move into a 23-21 lead. But the South Americans pressed the self-destruct button and crucial block points from Martinez and Marte put the Caribbean side on the brink of the set, only for Argentina to level at 24-24 after a successful challenge. But two timely Martinez spikes handed Dominican Republic the set (26-24).
Into set two and Argentina, who haven't beaten Dominican Republic since 2011, responded from the blow of losing the opener with a more controlled display, helped by the excellent defensive work of libero, Tatiana Rizzo. The set will be remembered for a wonderful 47-second rally which Dominican Republic eventually won through Lisvel Eve's powerful spike. Anahi Tosi was looking increasingly dangerous from spike range as Argentina kept their noses in front at both technical time outs. But it all went horribly wrong for Orduna's side who threw away a 24-21 lead as the Caribbean side won 5 straight points to steal the second set and move into a two-set lead (26-24).
Argentina, who are ranked 11th in the world, 2 places below their opponents, looked shell-shocked after surrendering that second set and it was the Caribbean side who started the third set in brighter fashion. They led 8-7 at the first technical time out and surged into a 14-10 advantage with Argentina missing a hatful of chances - most notably Rodriguez who put a straightforward spike long with the scores at 12-10. Dominican Republic, who suffered agonising 5-set losses to South Korea and Belgium in their last 2 matches, weren't to be denied this time. They closed out the set relatively comfortably against the forlorn South Americans, who remain without a point in the women's Nations League. The Caribbeans' greater power at the net - Kwiek's girls amassed 5 points from blocks to Argentina's 1 - proved decisive as they closed out a 26-24 26-24 25-19 victory to lift them up to 10th in the Nations League table.
  Publicado por: colon Fuente: fivb


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