Cuba upsets Russia in Under-21 volleyball tourney; will face Poland in final

The Cuban men’s (Under 21) volleyball team defeated the Russian team, 3 sets to 1, in a semifinal of the World Youth Championship played Saturday (July 1) in Brno, Czech Republic.

The four sets ended with scores of 25-15, 25-18, 16-25 and 25-23. The Russian sports website SportsArena hailed the Cubans’ victory as a “sensational knockout” and said the Cubans started the match in “fantastic” form. The Russians, who had won six previous matches, had been the favorites to enter the final.

Starring for the Cubans were Miguel David Gutiérrez (19 points) and Miguel Ángel López (17 points), while Aleksei Kononov led the theretofore undefeated Russian team.

Cuba was superior both in the attack (52 effective spikes to 40 by its rivals) and in serves (7 to 3). The Russians were better in blocking (11-9).

Cuba thus becomes the first finalist in the tournament. Its oponent in the final, Sunday (July 2) in Brno, will be Poland, which defeated Brazil in a 5-set thriller Saturday night (July 1).

Russia will play Brazil for third place on Sunday. For additional coverage in Prensa Latina, click here.

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