Brens, Pena pace Dominican Republic in win over Kazakhstan


Hamamatsu, Japan, October 1, 2018 - Prisilla Brens and Paola Pena scored 13 points each as the Dominican Republic defeated Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-19) in Pool D play at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Monday afternoon.

Captain Bethania De La Cruz added 11 points in the victory for the Dominicans, their first of the tournament.

Sana Anarkulova led Kazakhstan with eight points in the loss.

The first set was close and moved along point-by-point until the Dominicans moved ahead 11-8 on a nice block by Lisvel Mejia. Both teams played fundamentally sound volleyball in the set, with the Dominican Republic benefitting from a few more successful attacks. Victoria Vargas ended a great rally with a spike to make it 19-16 for the Dominicans. They took three of the next four points for a 22-17 lead and took the set 25-22.

De La Cruz had eight points for the Dominicans in the opening set.

Kazakhstan scored on some nice option plays early in the second set, but still trailed 8-7 at the first TTO. Each time that Kazakhstan pulled close, the Dominicans repelled the charge, relying on both power and a deft touch. Kazakhstan struggled on reception and defense in the second half of the set. The Dominican Republic was up 16-12 at the second TTO and pulled away to claim the set 25-15 on a service ace by De La Cruz.

The third set featured more of the same, as the Dominican Republic quickly seized a 5-0 advantage. Kazakhstan's defense became more porous as the match progressed and the Dominicans repeatedly score on quick strikes. Kazakhstan was unable to sustain any momentum against their stronger opponents.

Kristina Belova had a nice service  ace for Kazakhstan, but it was one of the few highlights for the team. The Dominicans kept the pressure on to take the set and match 25-19.

Both teams entered the match with 0-2 records and had not won a set.


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