USA, Mexico and Cuba in women’s semis of Varadero

The two pairs of United States as well as the main from Cuba and the only one from Mexico have advanced to the semifinals of the Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament, the third phase of the NORCECA Circuit that concludes on Sunday at Barcelo Solymar Arenas Blancas Hotel.

Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock (USA-A) and Mackenzie Ponnet/Kimberly Smith (USA-B) will open the program followed by the match between top-seeded Leila Martinez/Maylen Delis (CUB-A) and Mexicans Zaira Orellana/Martha Revuelta, the champions of the previous stop in La Paz, Baja California Sur.

The Cubans twice defeated the Mexicans at Aguascalientes, the opening tournament of the circuit, first 2-0 in the preliminary phase and then in a come-from-behind tie-breaker before losing in three sets to Mackenzie and Kimberly in the match for the gold medal.

That same USA team finished second in La Paz after losing to Orellana and Revuelta in a tournament where Leyla and Maylen were absent, so it will be a day of revenges until the battle for the medals on Sunday.

Only the Mexicans from the four semifinalists are not undefeated as they lost their Pool D match to Ponnet/Smith in a clear clash of avenge while the other three are currently on a run of five victories in a row through pool play and quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, the only match that did not finish 2-0 was the one between the home teams of Leila and Maylen and Arlin Hechavarría and Yanisleidis Sánchez (CUB-B), the promising young couple who battled hard before succumbing 21-13, 22-24, 15-11 in a surprising contest that many did not expect.

Pool Play completion (Saturday):

Pool A:  Leila/Maylen (CUB-A) d Joseph/Chase (TTO) 2-0 (21-9, 21-5); Alvarado/Juárez (GUA) d Brady/Hynds (HON) 2-1 (21-11, 20-22, 15-12); Leila/Maylen (CUB-A) d Alvarado/Juárez (GUA) 2-0 (21-12, 21-8); Dunn-Suen/Tresham (CAN-B) d Joseph/Chase (TTO) 2-0 (21-6, 21-8).

Pool B: Dowdy/Pollock (USA-A) d Arlin/Sánchez (CUB-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-18); Dowdy/Pollock (USA-A) d Miller/Berroa (DOM) 2-0 (21-16, 21-18); Arlin/Sánchez (CUB-B) d Navas/González (PUR) 2-0 (21-13, 24-22).

Pool C: Lapointe/Sider (CAN-A) d Mendoza/Lolette (NCA) 2-0 (21-13, 21-9); Thalia/Amanda (CUB-C) d Gandolfi/Powery (CAY) 2-0 (22-20, 21-17).

Pool D: Orellana/Revuelta (MEX) d Charles/Bennett (ISV) 2-0 (21-4, 21-12); Ponnet/Smith (USA-B) d Orellana/Revuelta (MEX) 2-0 (21-11, 21-19); Wright/Wallen (JAM) d Charles/Bennett (ISV).

Losers Playoff: Joseph/Chase (TTO) d Charles/Bennett (ISV) 2-1 (21-14, 17-21, 15-13); Wright/Wallen (JAM) d Alvarado/Juarez (GUA) 2-0 (21-12, 22-20); Gandolfi/Powery (CAY) d Miller/Berroa (DOM) 2-0 (21-14, 21-17); Navas/Gonzalez (PUR) d Mendoza/Lolette (NCA)

Quarterfinals: Leila/Maylen (CUB-A) d Arlin/Sánchez (CUB-B) 2-1 (21-13, 22-24, 15-11); Ponnet/Smith (USA-B) d Thalia/Amanda (CUB-C) 2-0 (21-7, 21-12);  Orellana/Revuelta (MEX) d Lapointe/Sider (CAN-A) 2-0 (21-14, 21-14), Dowdy/Pollock (USA-A) d Dunn-Suen/Tresham (CAN-B) 2-0 (21-6, 21-8).

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Cuban beach volleyball duo undefeated in China

The Cuban duo of Sergio Gonzalez-Nivaldo Diaz will hold its third match today in the Xiamen 4-star stop, in China, corresponding to the FIVB´s 2017/18 beach volleyball world circuit.

After achieving two wins yesterday, Gonzalez and Diaz will face today the Russian pair of Viachelav Krasilnikov-Nikita Liamin, according to the website of the contest.

Gonzalez-Diaz previously beat Ukrainians Oleksy Denin and Denys Denysenko 2-1 (21-15, 22-24 and 15-10) in the first round, and then won 2-0 (21-18 and 21-19) Austrians Robin Seidl and Christoph Dressler.

After Xiamen, Gonzalez and Diaz will travel to Havana to participate as hosts and defending champions at the Varadero stop, corresponding to the NORCECA circuit.

Then, they will attend the world tour 3-star events of Mersin, Turkey, from May 2 to 6, and Lucerne, Switzerland (9 to 13); and the 4-star stops of Itapema, Brazil (17-21), Ostrava, Czech Republic, from June 20-24, Warsaw, Poland, June 27 - July 1, and Esphino, Portugal, July 4 - 8.

Cuban beach volleyball´s main goal this year is the Barranquilla Central American and Caribbean Games, from July 19 to August 3, competition it will also attend with a women´s duo, in both cases as defending monarch.

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Cubans Gonzalez and Díaz to World and NORCECA Beach Circuits

The Cuban leading men’s beach volleyball duo begin their activity in the World and NORCECA circuits in April, with the main goal of defending the crowns of both genders in the beach volleyball of the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla 2018.

The male leading duo of Sergio González and Nivaldo Díaz travels next week with their coach Leonides Regüeiferos to Xiamen, China, where they will be participating for the second year in the event, this time in the Three-Star phase scheduled from April 18 to 22.

The bronze medalists at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will then return to the island, to defend the title in the NORCECA circuit at Varadero, this time the third on April 25-30.

They will return to the world arena for consecutive stops in Turkey (3-Star), from May 2 to 6; Switzerland (3-Star) from 9 to 13; and Brazil (4-Star) from May 17 to 21.

They will then train in Havana for three weeks and play the 4-Star Rounds in Ostrava, Czech Republic, from May 20 to 24; Warsaw, Poland, from June 27 to July 1; and Espinho, Portugal, from July 4-8.

Sergio and Nivaldo appear     in the 24th place in the world ranking, while their most dangerous rivals for Barranquilla, Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros (Mexico), Pan-American champions in Toronto, are placed at 15, because They have participated in phases of the World Tour.

Regüeiferos said that their students are well, although since they began the preparation only competed in the two rounds of the national circuit with couples from their respective provinces.

The experienced technician admitted that the duet he prepares is going to defend the gold in Barranquilla, but "we should not be over confident in front of a solid pair like that of Virgen and Ontiveros".

Meanwhile, the duos of Karell Peña-Daisel Quesada and Leila Martínez-Maylén Delis go to Aguascalientes, Mexico, for the opening of the season of the North, Central American and Caribbean area.

The men are guided by the Olympic Francisco Álvarez Cutiño, while the girls by Mayra Ferrer, with the purpose of dealing with the 13 to 15 April event.

This time Leila will not have Lidiannis Echevarría as a partner, since the latter is recovering from an injury. The Cubans will not continue to La Paz, Baja California, stage of the second race, but they will be in Varadero.

Last year Peña and Quesada equaled a circuit record, by winning three golds in row at La Paz, Virgin Islands and Jamaica.

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Gonzalez and Díaz win third crown in a row at Varadero

VARADERO, Cuba, July 17, 2017 – Home crowd favorites Sergio Gonzalez and Nivaldo Diaz did not disappoint the local fans as local pair responded with a 2-0 (21-18, 24-22) victory over Jeremy Casebeer and John Mayer of United States to grab the gold medal at the Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament, the fourth stop of the NORCECA Circuit on Sunday.

It was the third consecutive crown for the tandem of Nivaldo and Sergio in Varadero – and ninth overall- to go along with a silver medal in 2014.

The Rio Olympics fifth placed Gonzalez and Diaz advanced to the title match after a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) victory over compatriots Luis Reyes and José Luis Aguilera while Casebeer and Mayer defeated Canadians Fiodar Kazhamiaka and Sergey Gravobsky 2-0 (21-18, 21-18).

Reyes and Aguilera then engaged in a grueling battle with Kazhamiaka and Grabovsky eventually winning in three sets 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 16-14) for the bronze medal.

Nivaldo, who played the whole tournament while nursing an injured right hand said: “I thought the match was going to be less complicated but after a few days without being able to attack well I kind of lost my sync and it made the match longer.”

Meanwhile Sergio highlighted the importance of keeping the dominance at home and for 200 points to help their world ranking.

“It was really good to continue winning in our place and it was good to get the 200 points that helps our position in the world ranking. Both teams made many mistakes, but we were able to overcome that and get the win. We are happy about giving our country another triumph.”

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Big duel between Cubans men predicted for Varadero

VARADERO, Cuba, July 11, 2017 – A big duel among Cuban teams is being anticipated when the Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament, the fourth stop of the 2017 NORCECA Circuit gets underway next Friday.

Olympians Nivaldo Díaz and Sergio González, winners of the past two editions of the event and quarterfinalists in Rio, are expected to be challenged by compatriots Karell Peña and Daisel Quesada who have dominated the first three competitions of the year in La Paz, México, Cayman Islands and Ocho Ríos, Jamaica.

The women’s event features the presence of this year’s winning teams with Cubans Leila Martínez and Lidiannis Echevarría, who triumphed in La Paz and Cayman Islands, and Canadians Jamie Broder and Sophie Bukovec who are fresh from collecting the gold in Jamaica.

Sixteen women’s teams and fourteen men’s teams are registered to compete in Cuba.

2017 Winners

La Paz, Mexico

CUB Karell Peña/Daisel Quesada (M)

CUB Lianma Flores-Lidiannis Echeverría (W)


Cayman Islands

CUB Karell Peña/Daisel Quesada (M)

CUB Lianma Flores-Lidiannis Echeverría (W)


Ocho Rios, Jamaica

CUB Daisel Quesada/Karell Peña (M)

CAN Jamie Broder/Sophie Bukovec (W)


Women’s Teams

Canada-A (Jamie Broder/Sophie Bukovec), Canada-B (Megan Nagy/Marie Christine Lapointe), Costa Rica (Yulianna González/Natalia Alfaro), Cuba-A (Leila Martinez/Lidiannis Echeverria), Cuba-B (Lianma Flores/Yanisleidis Sánchez), Cuba-C (Mailin Deliz/Arlin Hechavarría), Guadeloupe (Fanny Katarzayski/Stephanie Rousell), Guatemala (Natalia Girón/Estephanie Bethancourt), Mexico-A (Stephanie Burnside/Paulette Cruz), Mexico-B (Silvia Hendrick/Estefanía Ibarra), Nicaragua (Swan Mendoza/Lolette Rodríguez), St Kitts & Nevis (Brenda Allen/Genelle Howell), United States-A (Jace Pardon/Lara Dykstra), United States-B (Karissa Cook/Katherine Spieler), U.S. Virgin Islands-A (Amber Bennett/Manika Charles), U.S. Virgin Islands-B (Melanie Valenciana/Katherine Wanket).

Men’s Teams

Canada-A (Fiodar Kazhamiaka/Sergey Grabovsky), Canada-A (Hugo Bonneau/Simon Fecteau Boutin), Costa Rica (Andrés Quintero/Esteban Escobar), Cuba-A (Sergio González/Nivaldo Díaz), Cuba-B (Karell Peña/Daisel Quesada), Cuba-C (Luis Reyes/José Luis Aguilera), Cuba-D (Daniel Durá/Hermes Quevedo), Dominican Republic (Víctor Castillo/William Sánchez), Guatemala (Andy Leonardo/Luis García), Nicaragua (Rubén Romero/Dany López), St Kitts & Nevis-A (St Clair Hodge/Rohan Jeffers), St Kitts & Nevis-B (Joshua Dwarkasing/David Pinas), United States-A (Jon Mesko/Skylar Del Solar), United States-B (John Mayer/Jeremy Casebeer).

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Cuban beach volleyball pairs win tournament in Mexico

Cuban pairs of Karell Peña - Daisel Quesada and Leila Martínez - Lidianis Echeverría won La Paz Beach Volleyball Tournament in the Mexican state of Baja California.

Peña-Quesada, the unbeaten leader of Group C, with three wins, defeated Sunday in the final 2-1 Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen, Mexico B, with scores of 21-13, 17-21 and 15-8.

Meanwhile Martínez-Echeverría, undefeated in Group A, also with three wins, beat 2-1 (21-19, 19-21 and 15-13) Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson, from Canada.

According to the NORCECA website, Peña and Quesada won 2-0 in the semi-finals over Jon Mesko and Skymar del Sol (21-13 and 21-11), if the United States A team, while Martinez and Echeverria beat Betsi 2-0 Flint and Kelly Larsen (21-17 and 21-17), also from United States A.

The bronze medal for the men went to Jose Rubio and Josue Gaxiola of Mexico A, defeating Mesko and Del Sol 2-1 (21-18, 17-21 and 15-8).

The winning duos (m and f) garnered 200 points for the NORCECA ranking, while the second, third and fourth places received 160, 120 and 100, respectively.

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