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Dominican Republic get the gold, Emiliya Nikolova gets the groom

 
Varna, Bulgaria, June 19, 2016 - The Dominican Republic won gold at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 Group 2 finals and earned a promotion to Group 1 for the 2017 season. Poland took the silver and Puerto Rico claimed the bronze leaving hosts Bulgaria off the podium.



 
Spearheaded by the attacks of Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez, the Dominican Republic achieved a fantastic comeback from two sets down to master a 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-11) victory over Poland in the final match played in Varna on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Martinez spiked successfully 24 times to top the scorers’ chart on her team.
 
Puerto Rico won the bronze after disappointing the home crowd in Varna with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23) victory over Bulgaria in the third-place match. Karina Ocasio rose to the occasion and hammered out 27 points for the winning side, supported with 19 points (5 aces) by teammate Aurea Cruz. Despite losing on the volleyball court, there was still plenty to celebrate on the Bulgarian side as well. Before the match captain Eva Yaneva and libero Mariya Filipova were honoured for playing their last match with the Bulgarian national jersey. After the match, Emiliya Nikolova was surprisingly called on the court to receive a marriage proposal in an emotional moment for everyone at the competition hall... And yes, she said “Yes.”
 
 
Top Scorer by Day 
31 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Kazakhstan on June 3 
25 - Bethania De La Cruz De Peña of Dominican Republic v Argentina on June 4 
29 - Berenika Tomsia of Poland v Puerto Rico on June 5 
20 - Sarina Koga of Japan v Serbia on June 9
31 - Berenika Tomsia of Poland v Argentina on June 10
28 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Cuba on June 11
30 - Paola Egonu of Italy v Japan on June 12
30 - Tijana Boskovic of Serbia v Brazil on June 17 
27 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Croatia on June 18 (Group 3 Semifinal)
30 - Madelaynne Montano of Colombia v Peru on June 19 (Group 3 Bronze Medal Match)

Top Scoring Performances 
31 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Kazakhstan on June 3 
31 - Berenika Tomsia of Poland v Argentina on June 10
30 - Madelaynne Montano of Colombia v Peru on June 19 (Group 3 Bronze Medal Match)
30 - Tijana Boskovic of Serbia v Brazil on June 17 
29 - Berenika Tomsia of Poland v Puerto Rico on June 5
28 - Berenika Tomsia of Poland v Dominican Republic on June 19 (Group 2 Final)
28 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Cuba on June 11
28 - Petra Kojdova of Czech Republic v Dominican Republic on June 12
28 - Polen Uslupehlivan of Turkey v Japan on June 17
27 - Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Bulgaria on June 19 (Group 2 Bronze Medal Match)
27 - Samantha Fabris of Croatia v Kazakhstan on June 19 (Group 3 Final)
27 - Pino Kenny Moreno of Colombia v Peru on June 19 (Group 3 Bronze Medal Match)
27 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Croatia on June 18 (Group 3 Semifinal)
26 - Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Argentina on June 11
26 - Heidy Rodriguez Lopez of Cuba v Colombia on June 5 
26 - Emiliya Nikolova of Bulgaria v Dominican Republic on June 3
26 - Lonneke Slöetjes of the Netherlands v Belgium on June 12
26 - Angela Leyva of Peru v Croatia on June 12

Top Individual Serving Performances 
7 - Karla Klaric of Croatia v Algeria on June 11
6 - Ana Grejman of Poland v Canada on June 3 
5 - Aurea Cruz of Puerto Rico v Bulgaria on June 19 (Group 2 Bronze Medal Match)
5 - Samantha Fabris of Croatia v Kazakhstan on June 19 (Group 3 Final)
5 - Martyna Grajber of Poland v Argentina on June 10
5 - Yael Castiglione of Argentina v Dominican Republic on June 4 
5 - Sloane Shae of Australia v Mexico on June 12
5 - Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia b Brazil on June 17
5 - Celeste Plak of Netherlands v Italy on June 18

Top Team Serving Performances 
13 - Croatia v Cuba on June 3 
12 - Kazakhstan v Algeria on June 4 
12 - Mexico v Australia on June 12
11 - Poland v Argentina on June 10
10 - Croatia v Peru on June 12
10 - Italy v Japan on June 12
10 - Turkey v Russia on June 12
10 - Australia v Mexico on June 12
9 - Puerto Rico v Bulgaria on June 19 (Group 2 Bronze Medal Match)
9 - Bulgaria v Puerto Rico on June 19 (Group 2 Bronze Medal Match)
9 - Croatia v Peru on June 18
9 - Japan v Italy on June 12
9 - Croatia v Algeria on June 11
9 - Peru v Cuba on June 11
9 - Bulgaria v Argentina on June 5 

Top Individual Blocking Performances 
8 - Milena Rasic of Serbia v China on June 18
7 - Agnieszka Kakolewska of Poland v Bulgaria on June 18 (Group 2 Semifinal)
7 - Irina Zaryazhko of Russia v Thailand on June 18
7 - Cristina Chirichella of Italy v Serbia on June 10
7 - Fabiana Claudino of Brazil v Italy on June 9
7 - Daimara Lescay Cajigal of Cuba v Colombia on June 5
7 - Candida Estefany Arias Perez of Dominican Republic v Bulgaria on June 3 
7 - Charuk Lucille of Canada v Bulgaria on June 12
6 - Agnieszka Kakolewska of Poland v Dominican Republic on June 19 (Group 2 Bronze Medal Match)
6 - Irina Fetisova of Russia v Netherlands on June 17
6 - Polen Uslupehlivan of Turkey v Japan on June 17
6 - Nursevil Aydinlar of Turkey v Japan on June 17
6 - Ozge Nur Yurtdagulen of Turkey v Japan on June 17
6 - Silge Wiebke of Germany v Thailand on June 12
6 - Carey Beth of Australia v Mexico on June 12
6 - Vargas Annerys of Dominican Republic v Czech Republic on June 12
6 - Christa Harmotto Dietzen of United States v Thailand on June 11
6 - Heidy Casanova Alvarez of Cuba v Peru on June 11
6 - Daimara Lescay Cajigal of Cuba v Peru on June 11
6 - Julieta Lascano of Argentina v Poland on June 10
6 - Kubra Akman of Turkey v Germany on June 18

Top Team Blocking Performances 
19 - Poland v Bulgaria on June 18
19 - Cuba v Peru on June 11
19 - Italy v Serbia on June 10
18 - Poland v Czech Republic on June 4
17 - Brazil v Italy on June 9
17 - USA v China on June 12
16 - Italy v Japan on June 12
16 - Poland v Argentina on June 10
16 - Poland v Canada on June 3 
16 - Peru v Algeria on June 5 

Highest Scoring Sets 
31-29 - Brazil v Serbia on June 17
31-29 - Serbia v Italy on June 10
31-29 - Japan v Serbia on June 9
30-28 - Puerto Rico v Argentina on June 11
30-28 - Canada v Poland on June 3 
29-27 - Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico on June 18  (Group 2 Semifinal)
29-27 - United States v Thailand on June 11
29-27 - Mexico v Australia on June 12
29-27 - Croatia v Peru on June 18 (Group 3 Semifinal)
29-27 - Croatia v Kazakhstan on June 19 (Group 3 Final)

Highest Scoring Matches 
223 - Serbia v Brazil 3-2 (25-16, 31-29, 19-25, 19-25, 18-16) on June 17
219 - Bulgaria v Canada 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 28-26, 15-10) on June 12
213 - Puerto Rico v Poland 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 15-25, 28-26, 15-13) on June 5 
213 - Italy v Japan 3-2 (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 25-27, 15-8) on June 12
211 - Poland v Argentina 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 25-15, 23-25, 15-10) on June 10
210 - Russia v Turkey 3-2 (26-24, 20-25, 20-25, 25-20. 15-10) on June 12
209 - Turkey v Japan 3-2 (21-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21,15-13) on June 17
208 - Dominican Republic v Poland 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-11) on June 19 (Group 2 Final)
208 - China v Serbia 3-2 (27-25, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-9) on June 18
206 - Dominican Republic v Czech Republic 3-2 (25-22, 15-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-8) on June 12
206 - Dominican Republic v Argentina 3-2 (22-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-15, 23-25, 16-14) on June 4

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