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Morales paves the way for Puerto Rico's victory over Poland

 
Zielona Góra, Poland, June 5, 2016 - Lynda Morales scored 21 points for Puerto Rico helping her team to a 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 15-25, 28-26, 15-13) victory over Poland in an epic five-setter.

Lynda Morales was the top scorer for Puerto Rico with 21 points (four blocks) contributing to a third consecutive World Grand Prix win in the tournament. Poland’s Berenika Tomsia added as much as match-high 29 points to her team’s final result to finish the tournament with 67 points scored.

Poland was first to gain the upper hand in the match of two still unbeaten teams of Group B2. Anna Grejman and Berenika Tomsia led the attack and soon their team went from 7-6 before the first technical timeout to 10-6 a while later. With Mojica on the serve Puerto Rico showed their own game scoring three points in a row. After tying the score at 13-13, coach Nunez’s players went on to take the lead at the second mandatory break 16-15. That, however, was only a momentary setback for Poland, who continued their flawless game (0 free points given to the opponents) and fought for each ball. Agata Sawicka’s impossible save, followed by a faulty attack attempt by Alexandra Oquendo gave Poland their first set ball which they utilized perfectly, taking the set 25-18.




The hosts carried their good disposition over into the second set, going 5-1 up before arriving at the first technical time-out with a score of 8-6 after Tamara Kaliszuk broke through the opponents’ block with a powerful spike. Slowly but steadily, Puerto Rico began their march to take the lead at 23-19 showing their attack skills at last. Poland made terrific effort to stay in the game with some epic saves and defended two set balls before giving in 25-23 for Puerto Rico to Cruz’s spike.

That narrow loss clearly had a motivating effect on the white-red team, and the level of focus and determination they showed from the first minutes of set three was incredible. Polish block was functioning perfectly, while Tomsia and Grejman kept firing away to a crushing 25-15, with little response from the overwhelmed Puerto Rican players.

Related information:
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 - Schedule
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 - Teams
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 - Media Guide


Poland was the leading side at the first technical timeout of set four 8-5. Nunez’s team managed to nearly even out the score at 9-10, and probably would succeed if there weren't some eye-catching saves by the Polish side. Dedication in defence and very few mistakes was what kept Poland on top of the game, into 16-12 at the second mandatory break. With the help of their captain Yarimar Rosa, Puerto Rico managed to go 19-19 and get one step ahead of the hosts with a lot of heart showed by both sides and in a point-for-point struggle. Polish block of two defended the first set ball to level the score to 24-24, but more followed and after the last thrilling rally the score 28-26 took the match into the tiebreaker.

In the decider no team managed to gain a higher advantage than two points with Puerto Rico keeping their nerves calm in the last phase to take the set 15-13.

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