Dominican Republic rallies past Netherlands at China int'l women's volleyball tournament

09:12, May 30, 2011      

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Dominican Republic twice rallied from one set down to beat the Netherlands 3-2 here Sunday afternoon at the 2011 China international women's volleyball tournament.

With the hard fought victory, Dominican Republic improved to 1-1 in the four-team round robin tournament while the Netherlands slipped to 0-2.

Valdez Annerys Vargas led Dominican Republic with 18 points with Mejia Lisvel Elisa Eve adding 17.

"We are happy with our first victory of the tournament," said Dominican Republic head coach Marcos Kwiek. "We made a lot of mistakes, but it's typical for young players."

"We are a young team and every player is improving through this tournament. I think we will play even better tomorrow."

Dropping the first set without much resistance and falling behind 7-0 at the beginning of the second, Dominican Republic claw back into contention on back of improved offense and leveled it at 16-all. After the two sides fought to ties at 18-18, 20-20 and 21-21, Dominican Republic ran off three of the next four points to make it 24-22.

The Dutch women held off two set points for a 25-24 advantage, but that' s the furthest they could go. A smart play of Mejia Lisvel Elisa Eve brought it to 25-all before Pena Bethania De La Cruz drove a spike off the block out of bounds to give Dominican Republic the third set point and Valdez Annerys Vargas and Brens Prislla Rivera converted it with a solid team block against Lonneke Sloetjes.

Then the two teams split the next two sets to force the tiebreaker, where Dominican Republic staged a 6-2 run from a 4-all tie to go up at 10-6. Francien Huurman produced a pair of aces to pull the Netherlands within 10-9, only to find Dominican Republic wind up the contention with a 5-1 burst.

"It was a exciting match for the spectators to watch with many long rallies," said the Netherlands head coach Avital Selinger. "Even though we lost the game, we lost to a good team and we learned a lot from this game."

Lonneke Sloetjes contributed game-high 22 points for the Netherlands.

Source: Xinhua
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