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Argentina recorded its second straight win in FIVB competitions over Dominican Republic

Hiroshima, Japan, November 4, 2011 - World No 20 Argentina pulled off a superb come-from-behind victory 3-1 (18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22) against the Dominican Republic, ranked 14th in the world, in their opening World Cup match on Friday.

The Dominicans, who had seen libero Brenda Castillo sent home for disciplinary reasons on Thursday, started strongly taking the opening set, but a resilient Argentina came back to claim their second successive victory in FIVB competition against the Central Americans in the first World Cup match to feature three female referees (two official and one reserve).

Leading the way for Argentina was Paula Yamila Nizetich with 12 points, and a trio of her teammates supported with 11. For the Dominicans, Bethania De La Cruz de Peña led all scorers with 24.

Argentina came out strong with Antonella Bortolozzi putting a block on Lisvel Elisa Eve Mejia (aka Eve-Castillo) early, helping them go up 6-2. But De La Cruz brought the Dominicans roaring back, as they took 12 of the next 13 points to lead14-7. De La Cruz continued to dominate scoring with 11 in the set, including the final point — a gorgeous tip at the net into the middle of the stationary Argentinian defenders.

Maria Jimena Perez led Argentina back in the second, with a pair of daggers at the heart of the Dominicans, plus a cheeky tip at the net to go up 7-4. But De La Cruz answered with a nice tip of her own, helping her team come back within one, at 8-7. But Argentina would edge ahead with a rocket by captain Emilce Sosa to end a lengthy rally and later came with another to help her team to move ahead by eight points at 19-11. Lucia Fresco gave Argentina set point with a pair of well placed spikes, the second just touching the baseline. Paula Yamila Nizetich followed with an attack of her own to close out the set 25-17 for Argentina.

In the third De La Cruz stayed hot from out wide, firing a blast down the middle that practically knocked over Leticia Boscacci, tying it at 7-7. But Argentina’s Perez was playing beautifully at the net with a trio of points mid set to help her team lead 16-12. Argentina stayed ahead until late when an errant shot from De La Cruz sailed long before she was blocked at the net at set point as Argentina closed it out 25-18.

Rivera helped the Dominicans ahead 6-2 in the fourth, with an incredible block at the net and a drive that Argentina couldn’t defend. But Sosa led Argentina back into the set with a cross-court spike before Nizetich delivered an ace to put them ahead 15-14. It stayed close late until Fresco gave Argentina a 24-22 edge, and Curatola followed with an ace to close it 25-22.


Argentina coach Bastit Horacio: We’re very glad here to win, and we really enjoyed playing this match. It was a difficult match because the Dominican Republic is stronger than us, but we did our best in all aspects of the match.

Regarding facing Japan tomorrow: Japan is ones of the top five teams, I think. We respect them a lot. Our styles are different, but we will enjoy playing against them. I like Kimura’s style of play. She has very good technique and her attacking versus blocking is great. I showed video to my own players to show how she attacks the block.

Argentina captain Emilce Sosa: I’m happy to get this win. we did all we had to do in this match. I think we showed how we have grown recently.

Dominican coach Marcos Kweik: We did great at first, but Argentina gained control in the second set. Their service and blocking was very strong.

Dominican Republic captain Milagros Cabral de la Cruz: It was a good match, but we couldn’t execute well. But we will do our best for the next match.

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