San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 15, 2017 – Mirosalva Paskova and Yuliya Stoyanova led Bulgaria to a pulsating 3-1 (15-25, 30-28, 31-29, 25-21) victory over Canada in a Group 2 match in the FIVB World Grand Prix in Puerto Rico on Saturday.
Paskova scored 20 of Bulgaria’s points, while Stoyanova added 18. Canada’s Elizabeth Wendel was the top scorer in the match with 24 points.
It was the third meeting between these two teams in the World Grand Prix, having previously split two five-setters. And that was the way this match was headed after long second and third sets.
Canada overran Bulgaria in the first set and had the advantage for much of the second set, but a Nasya Dimitrova spike tied the scores at 20, and from then on it was a battle of nerves. Bulgaria blew a two-point lead from 23-21 and then it was tension all the way before they finally took the set 30-28.
The Bulgarians again had to chase Canada in the third set but recovered from 17-20 to lead 23-22 before the set went to sudden death once again. It needed a total of 37 minutes to separate the two teams, with Bulgaria once again keeping their nerve to take the set 31-29.
Canada had the advantage again in the fourth set, leading 10-7 before Bulgaria levelled at 11. It was still level at 18-18 when Bulgaria stepped up a gear to lead by two at 20-18 and earn four match points at 24-20 before finishing things off.