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Cuba Overpowers US for 2nd Straight Win in Olympic Women's Volleyball
    2008-08-11 15:51:25     Xinhua
Sydney Olympic champion Cuba claimed its second straight win at the women's volleyball preliminaries of the Beijing Games with a commanding 3-0 sweep of the United States on Monday.

The World No.3 successfully limited the American offense with strong serving on its way to the 25-15, 26-24 and 25-17 victory at the Capital Gymnasium to improve to a 2-0 record in pool A, which also includes China, Japan, Poland and Venezuela.

"We struggled with our receiving, so we could not play our normal offense," said United States head coach Jenny Lang Ping. "Cuba did really well in serving today."

Cuba finished with six aces through the match that lasted 69 minutes, compared with only one for the United States.

The Americans, 3-1 winners over Japan on Saturday, jumped to a 5-1 lead in the opening stage, forcing Cuba head coach Antonio Perdomo to call a time-out.

When the game resumed, Cuba fought back with an amazing 14-2 run to go up at 15-7 and never looked back.

The two teams played more consistently in the second set where the United States maintained an narrow advantage most of the way before Cuba overtook the lead at 21-20 with a 4-1 burst.

After Logan Tom leveled it at 23-all with a kill, Yumilka Ruiz drove a ball out to give the United States the set point.

Perdomo called a time-out again and it worked again. Ruiz came back to smash two balls home and Rachel Sanchez added a stuff against Tom in between to help Cuba wind up the set with three unanswered points.

The United States fought hard early in the third set and managed to stay up at 6-2, but Cuba steadily pulled it back at 10-all before staging a 8-2 run on back of stormy services of Daimi Ramirez and Rosir Calderon to take over the lead at 18-12, a gap the Americans could never close.

Ruiz had 15 points to lead three Cuban players in double scoring digits.

"I think we played a good game and we did what we needed to do," said the two-time Olympic gold medalist. "We started playing superb when we find the right rhythm."

The American women were led by Tayyiba Haneef-park with 13 points.
 
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