INDIANAPOLIS -- The U.S. ended 10 years of Cuban domination in men's volleyball Saturday night with a 15-8, 15-5, 15-6 victory in the final of the NORCECA tournament at Market Square Arena.
The victory was paced by Paul Sunderland of Malibu, Calif., and Craig Buck of Tarzana, Calif. The 6-foot-8 Buck spiked six points through the Cuban defense while Sunderland attacked from the sides and saved critical points with digs.
Sunderland ended the night's longest point with a diving return that Cuba hit out of play. The point included seven rallies -- four by the U.S. and three by Cuba -- and gave the hosts the first-game win.
The Americans ran off streaks of five and six points in the middle and end of the second game, then exploded for seven straight early in the final game. Sunderland's serves, a block and two kills accounted for eight U.S. points in the final game.
'The win is very, very significant because Cuba is one of the world powers in volleyball,' said U.S. men's assistant coach Bill Neville. 'It's politically important in the world of volleyball.'
Earlier, the U.S. women's team won its first zone championship with a 15-4, 15-9, 15-13 victory over Cuba. Both U.S. teams went through the five-day, round-robin event undefeated without losing a game.
The women had their closest game of the tournament against Cuba after dominating the first two games. Cuba took a 6-1 lead in the last game but the Americans evened the score at 11 and again at 13. Flo Hyman of Inglewood, Calif., slammed one of her 20 kills past Cuba to bring about game point.
Julie Vollertsen of Palmyra, Neb., then entered the game, took five steps and pounded home the winning point.
The women will next play a four-game tour with Cuba. The men will play Bulgaria and host a pre-Olympic event before dividing into two squads. One will play in the Pan-American Games while the other visits the Soviet Union.
The American men automatically qualify for the 1984 Olympics as the hosts and the Cubans already qualified in international competition. The Canadian men's and women's teams made the Olympic field by placing third at NORCECA, one of five world volleyball zones.