Cuba 12th, Russia Champ in Women’s VB

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 14 — Cuba lost to the Netherlands in straight sets (32-30, 25-23 y 25-17) to finish in 12th place at the Women’s Volleyball Championship in Japan.  Meanwhile Russia came from behind to upset Brazil in five sets (21-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 15-11) to win the title.

The “Morenas del Caribe”, highly popular at home in Cuba, had hoped to finish among the top teams but errors and inconsistent play during the tournament made that impossible in the highly competitive event.

Cuba coach Juan Carlos Gala said after the match: “I think the deciding factor of the match was the first set, when we were up 24-20 and couldn’t win it. We were not the same after that. We had receiving problems and it didn’t work as we planned. Besides that, the Netherlands team did a very good job,” reported the World Volleyball Federation website.

In the match for third place also on Sunday, host Japan erased a two set to one deficit and defeated the United States 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19, 15-8.).

Italy had an easy time with Turkey to capture 5th place (25-23, 25-20, 25-21); Germany took seventh place defeating Serbia 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23), and Poland blanked China (25,23, 25-21, 25-22)