Mlejnkova leads Czechs to four-set win over Peru


The Czech Republic players celebrate their win on Friday

 Richmond, Canada, July 21, 2017 – Michaela Mlejnkova scored 22 points as she led the Czech Republic to a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17) victory over Peru in a Group 2 match in the FIVB World Grand Prix on Friday.

The win means that Korea, Poland and Germany will contest the Group 2 Finals next weekend along with hosts the Czech Republic.

Mlejnkova notched 18 kills and four blocks and was well supported by Iva Nachmilnerova (15 points, two blocks, five aces), Marie Toufarova (15 points, five blocks, one ace) and Andrea Kossanyiova (12 points) who came off the bench midway through the match and was instrumental in the victory. Angela Leyva was the top scorer for Peru with 16 points.

It was only the second meeting between the two teams in the World Grand Prix. Their previous match two weeks ago ended with the same scoreline. The Czechs are now 6-1, while Peru dropped to 3-4.

The first set saw momentum swing from side to side throughout and reached 22-22, before the Czechs earned a late lead and eventually took the set with a Veronika Struskova kill.

Peru got off hot start in the second set, taking a 10-5 lead after a Uribe kill. Peru’s Maguilaura Frias put her team ahead 14-10 with a crowd-pleasing block, but the Czechs promptly responded with a 5-0 run that put them up 15-14. But a scrappy Peru side didn’t fold, roaring back to retake the lead at 21-19. The Peruvians never trailed the rest of the way and Maguilaura Frias ripped a rocket off hands and out for the winning point at 25-22.

In the third set, Peru had the edge early, taking a 5-3 lead and maintaining an advantage through the middle stages. Just before the second technical timeout, the Czechs pushed back with a run of their own and with Iva Nachmilnerova leading the charge from the service line, they took a 15-12 lead. After that, it was all Czech Republic as they extended their lead to 21-15 before winning 25-19. Andrea Kossanyiova buried the winning kill to give the Czechs a 2-1 lead in sets.

With momentum on their side after a late third-set flurry, the Czechs raced to a 7-0 lead in the fourth set and held control the rest of the way. Running away with the match down the stretch, the Czech Republic wrapped up the win with a strong block from Marie Toufarova that made it 25-17.

The Czech Republic will play Germany in their second match of the weekend, while Peru will take on the host Canadians. 

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