Lublin, Poland, August 2, 2015 - World No. 31 the Czech Republic overcame the disappointment of Saturday's semifinal defeat to the Netherlands and outlasted World No. 15 Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-18, 12-25, 25-21, 25-17) at Hala Globus in Lublin, Poland, on Sunday afternoon, to finish third in the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 2.
It was the third World Grand Prix meeting between these two nations. With today’s victory, Czech Republic take the lead 2-1.
Best scorer of the third place match was Puerto Rico’s Aurea Cruz with 18 points. Karina Ocasio contributed 11 kills for the Caribbean side. Veronika Trnkova and captain Helena Havelkova were the top scorers for the winners with 14 points each. The Czech Republic had the edge in blocking (13-5) and in serving (9-4).
Tereza Vanzurova and Michaela Mlejnkova led the Czech side to a fairly undisputed 25-18 win in the opening set. The team of head coach Carlo Parisi showed its power mainly at the net as they controlled both attacking (13-10) and blocking (4-1).
However, the Czech hopes for a quick triumph rapidly vanished into thin air as Puerto Rico bounced back muscularly in the second period (25-12). Aurea Cruz helped her side with three successful spikes and three service winners.
The ten-minute break between the second and the third set apparently helped the Czech ladies as they turned the tables again in the third period (25-21). Puerto Rico experienced the better start before the East Europeans came back strongly at the end of set 3.
It was the crucial moment of the match. The Czech ladies kept the upper hand in the fourth and last set as well, closing out the set 25-17 and the match 3-1.