Dominican Republic loves tie break, another two hours and half-victory over Croatia.


Dominican Republic team hug

Rome, September 25, Italy 2014- Dominican Republic won the second tiebreaker of their FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 schedule in a no-ending match, defeating Croatia 3-2 (25-22, 25-13, 22-25, 24-26, 19-17).

Croatia coach Angelo Vercesi’s team wasn’t able to complete the comeback, but it fought until the end.

Key facts

- Dominican Republic’s Brayelin Martinez is the youngest member of the team at 20 years old, as well as the tallest at 200 cm.

- Mambru scored 11 points in the first set with 11 attack points on 20 attempts

- In the fourth set a setting fault objection costs the red card to Angelo Vercesi, and the same fault for Dominicans gave his team set’s victory.

- Dominican Republic scored nine aces in the match against Croatia’s five.

Gina Mambru for Dominican Republic was the top scorer of the match with 25 points. Bethania De La Cruz added 15 points and Prisilla Rivera followed with 14 points. Croatia was led by Maja Poljak with 18 points and Mia Jerkov added 16 points.

The first set started with substantial equality, the first break came at 8-4 for Croatia with good spikes of Senna Jogunica Usic. Dominican Republic tried to answer mostly with its opposite Gina Mambru, but the gap was still three points at the second technical timeout. This timeout functioned very well for Dominican Republic that tied the score at 17-17, and overcame the opponents in the crucial part of the set taking a strong three points advantage at 21-18. Croatia’s game seemed to be more confused and it was a net fault by Dominican Republic and a Mia Jerkov ace to set the score at 21-20 for Croatia. It was again Mambru who solved the situation and fixed the set at 25-22.

An ace and a block opened the second set for Croatia testifying they were alive in the match. Again the beginning of the set was point by point. A training-spike without block scored by Rivera gave two-point break for Dominican Republic, and an exceptional rally closed by the usual Mambru took the teams to the first technical timeout at 8-6 for her team. Her ace at the coming back into the court demonstrated her positive day. Dominican Republic’s determination on each ball was stronger than Croatia’s attempts with their spikers. The gap increased to 9 points at 22-13. Another net fault by Croatia's middle blocker made the set end at 25-13.

The third set started with Croatia serving better than in the previous sets and caused some problems to the opponents' reception to go two points ahead in the score to arrive at the first technical timeout at 8-6. Dominican Republic started to force the serves too, and tied the score at 11-11. The serve section was the protagonist of this set, with aces coming from both parts. An amazing rally won by Croatia forced Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek to call his first timeout at 19-17 for Croatia and the second one immediately after at 21-18. Mia Jerkov took a yellow card for a hard objection to the referee’s decision an even after Dominican Republic scored a winning block, so Croatia’s coach Angelo Vercesi stopped the game. Popovic’s ace gave her team the set ball so the set ended on a serve error by the South American team at 25-22.

Croatia started well again the fourth set collecting three points of advantage. Dominican Republic took again the match control in a few points arriving first at the first technical timeout at 8-7. The teams were strictly close in the score, only one point between them, the second technical timeout saw Dominican Republic lead the set for 16-15. The counter-attack phase worked well for both teams so Croatia to change the situation substituted its opposite with Samanta Fabris in, and so did Kwiek at the same time with Brayelin Martinez in. From the opposites change, Dominican Republic took the best result. Angelo Vercesi took a red card for contesting hard the referee call of the setter fault, and that meant a point gifted to opponents at 22-19. Rivera claimed the match ball for her team with a block-out spike, cancelled by the same Rivera’s spike out. At 24-24 Croatia overcame the opponents in the score, and claimed the set at 26-24 with a setter fault called to Niverka Marte, Dominican’s setter.

The tiebreak’s start was in Mambru’s sign with her serve turned with a 4-0 partial score. Rivera increased the gap again with serves at 6-1. Poljak and Jerkov were the main reference points for Croatia in this set. The switch arrived at 8-4 for the NORCECA team. Poljak scored two points in a row with a fast attack and a block to reduce the gap down to two points at 8-6. Dominican’s attack were stopped a couple of time by Popovic’s block so the score was equal at 10-10. Dominican attack’s was in difficult and Croatia took confidence, but the first match ball was for Poljak’s team at 14-13. This match had no intention to come to an end. It took four match balls to Dominican Republic to claim the match after a no ending action, the right end to this match. The score partial was 19-17.

The one day rest came in a very right moment for both teams, after this exhausting match.

On Saturday Dominican Republic will face Argentina and Croatia challenges Tunisia.


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