Winifer Maria Fernandez Perez leads the Dom Republic celebrations
Olomouc, Czech Republic, June 10, 2016 - Gina Mambru's 17 points led the Dominican Republic to their first victory of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 Group 2, by beating Bulgaria 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-23) on Friday. On the Bulgarian side captain Eva Yaneva took charge, scoring 16 points overall.
It was their third-ever encounter at World Grand Prix. Both teams have met already last week at the tournament in Tucuman, Argentina, where Bulgaria defeated Dominican Republic 3-2. Bulgarian finished the first weekend unbeaten, recording their first upset today and ending their winning streak. Gina Mambru scored 17 points for her team, while Bulgarian Captan Eva Yaneva recorded 16.
The match started quite tight with first technical time out reached by Bulgaria 8-7, after scoring three kill blocks. The players in white-and-green lost their lead 13-10 when coach Marcos Kwiek called time out and motivated his players to take over 16-14. The difference in the score was rising continuously thanks to pressure of service the Dominican Yorkira Binet put on her opponents until first set point for Dominican Republic at 24-15. The team ended the set an action later.
In the second set the players from NORCECA zone kept the rhythm of performance and reached first technical time out leading 8-5. Bulgarians improved their reception a little bit and started to play more through the middle, which helped them to get close at 15-16. Despite few courageous attacks of Eva Yaneva Bulgaria was still two points behind at 18-20. While the white-and-greens were losing 21-24, Nasya Dimitrova helped with her floating serve to come tie 24-24, but Dominican Republic finally reached the end of set with successful block.
In the third set the Bulgarian team finally responded and took the early lead at 5-1. Captain Eva Yaneva showed her high level performance and encouraged other players to risk on the net resulting in a 11-6 lead. Their advantage was carried on until the second technical time out, mostly thanks to errors made by Dominican Republic. The Bulgarian team started to feel the pressure while Bethania De la Cruz was serving from at 23-19, gave her team first match ball and turned the score entirely to 23-25, sealing the deal in three sets.