Bulgarians defeat Dominicans in FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
Lausanne.- World No. 19 Bulgaria defeated hot favourites the Dominican Republic, ranked No. 7 in the world, 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 18-25, 25-17, 9-15) in the stand out result as eight matches signaled the start of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 on Friday.
Both Group 2 and Group 3 got underway on Friday but it was the clash between Bulgaria’s Emiliya Nikolova, who scored 26 points, and Dominican Republic opposite hitter Brayelin Martinez, 25 points, which stole the show on the opening day. Group 1 will start next week.
Bulgaria’s win set them off to a strong start in Group 2 of the Preliminary Round, the team aiming to build on their success in recent years after winning the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 3 Finals in 2014, earning them a promotion into Group 2 for 2015 where they finished fifth last year.
The 24th edition of the tournament will feature 28 teams split across three groups and four weekends of pool play. The Group 1 Final is set to conclude in Bangkok, Thailand with Varna, Bulgaria hosting the Group 2 Final and Almaty, Kazakhstan welcoming the Group 3 Final.