Dominican Republic hold off Belgium in five sets


Dominican Republic's Candida Estefany Arias Perez spikes.

Bari, Italy, October 1, 2014 – Dominican Republic held off a strong late surge from Belgium to claim a full set victory (25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 15-6) at Palaflorio in the first match of second round Pool E at the 2014 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship.
Key points:
· After only three points (1-2), Belgium called the first “video challenge” of this World Championship and it was successful.
· This was the first meeting between the two teams at the World Championship.
· Dominican Republic have won all four World Championship meetings with teams representing Europe. All the matches came in 2014 and went to five sets.
· Lise Van Hecke of Belgium an d Bethain De La Cruz from Dominican Republic scored 30 points each in the marathon match that lasted two hours and eight minutes.

Belgium called “video challenge” for a service of Charlotte Leys and they went ahead 2-1 after the referee's decision was reversed. Thanks to three mistakes made by Lise Van Hecke, Dominican Republic overtook the lead at 10-5. Coach Vande Broek called the timeout, but bad passing on European's side led De La Cruz to score from the free ball to make it 14-9. After the second TTO (16-10), Dominican Republic improved the lead to 23-17 and Vargas clinched the opener (25-17) for them.

Vande Broek replaced the wing spiker Els Vandesteene with Helene Rosseaux from the start of the second set before the two teams fought to a tie at 9-9. Gina Mambru and Bethania De la Cruz attacks gave Dominican Republic a 15-11 lead. Belgimu tried to come back (15-14), but Dominican Republic soon pulled away again and closed the second set 25-22 through Casilla Gina Altagracia Mambu.
The Yellow Tigers opened the third set in strong fashion (3-0). They led 16-11 at the second TTO. Marcos Kwiek's team managed to cut their deficit to 20-19. Even if there were some troubles, Vande Broek's team won the third set thanks to a soft lob of Rousseaux (25-22).
Belgians were determined to keep the match going as services from Frauke Dirickx gave them a comfortable cushion at 4-0. Dominican Republic steadily pulled within 8-5 and 16-15. Perez was out of the match after receiving an injury in a clash with teammates. Nina Coolman helped Belgium with her services to give them a 22-16 advantage and Charlotte Leys brought the teams to the tiebreak with a smash (25-22).
A block of Vargas gave Dominican Republic an amazing 6-2 start in the fifth set. The Belgian women fought hard to cut it to 9-5, only to find the opponents run off five points in a row and go on to seal the victory.


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