Cuba is golden at the Men’s NORCECA Championship

Cuba won the gold-medal match 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20) at the 2019 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Cuba led in attack points (46-34), and dominated from the service line (10-5), but the U.S. held its own in blocking with 11 points compared with Cuba’s seven.

Cuba’s was a team effort with Osniel Mergarejo and Miguel Angel Lopez leading scoring with 15 each, followed by Robertlandy Simon (including four aces) with 14 and Marlon Yant with 12.

TJ Defalco and Kyle Ensing had 12 points apiece for the United States.

Cuba had already locked up a spot in the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier next January as the winner of the recent Champions Cup, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The U.S. is already qualified for the 2020 Olympics as winner of its pool in the FIVB Qualification Tournament last month.

Cuba, head coach, Yosvany Muñoz Perez: “I’m very happy.  We came here to fight for first place, and that happened. We had very strong serves, the reception was very, very good and our attacking was a good performance.

Our players now will play professionally all over the world and we’ll get back together in December to prepare for the Olympic Qualification tournament. “

USA, head coach, John Hawks: “They served really well, as we expected, and I think offensively they were just a little sharper than they were the other night (when USA won in the pool match).  We didn’t pass as well as we did, we lost the serve/pass game….  Our guys are trying to prove ourselves to our senior teams, to be on the roster….

Leaving here with the silver medal is great, but we want gold.  We’re proud of the effort, but in the end we just weren’t sharp enough, so credit to Cuba, they played great.”

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Canada falters against a determined Cuban team

Canada started strong, but lost momentum after the first set to fall to Cuba 1-3 (25-17, 22-25, 22-25,19-25) in the first semifinal of the Men’s 2019 NORCECA Continental Championship today in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  

Canada led in blocking (12-10), but Cuba led in service points (9-7) and attacks (50-43).

Miguel Lopez let all scorers with 21 points for the winning team. He was followed by teammates Marlon Yant (15) and Osniel Mergarejo (13).

For Canada, Stephen Maar contributed 17 points. Nick Hoag and Sharone Vernon-Evans had 11 apiece.

Cuba will face the winner of USA vs Mexico in the gold medal match on Saturday. Canada will face the loser in the bronze game.

Cuba head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez:

“I am happy because of this victory. Our team had a very high level performance today, especially in our serving, we had very strong service today. Congratulations to Canada, they are a good team.  Now we want to see who wins between Mexico and the USA and then we will study the video.  We want to be prepared for tomorrow.”

#13 Cuban middle blocker, Robertlandy Simon:

“When we win, we are happy. We are here and trying to win, but the most important thing is to get to the Olympics.  January is what will really count.

Today, our service was very good, and they had some difficulty with reception. We played well after the first set.”

Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag:

“We played a great first set, in all aspects, especially in our serving. In the second set, we completely lost momentum because we committed too many service errors early in the second set, and Cuba started playing better. … We haven’t played Cuba in a long time, so it was good to see what they can do.  We have to be ready for January. …It’s just a question of working on a few things, especially our serving flaws versus our block defense, and I think we will be ready. But for now, we will worry about tomorrow.”

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Cuba gets second victory at NORCECA Championship

Cuba defeated Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-15) and is now 2-0 at the 2019 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo was again Cuba’s top scorer at 17 points, including four aces.

Dominican captain Henry Omar Tapia also had 17 points, but for the losing side.

Cuba is aiming for first place in its pool to avoid quarterfinals and advance directly to the semifinals on Friday.

Cuba has already locked up a spot in the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier next January, but still has the goal to win this tournament.

Cuba head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez: “Today I am very happy. The team played better than yesterday (vs Guatemala). At the beginning of the game we started off a bit cold, but after that we increased our performance. We are ready for the United States. We will prepare and discuss our plan to be ready for the match.”

Dominican Republic, head coach, Jose Alexander Gutierrez: “It was a difficult match for us because Cuba’s level is higher than us. But it is okay, much better than yesterday. For us it’s very good to improve after each game. This tournament is very complicated and is not easy. There are different levels here, USA, Canada and Cuba are much higher in skill and experience than Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala.”

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Young Guatemalan team attempts upset but loses to Cuba

Despite an exciting second-set challenge, Guatemala was not able to hold off the Cuban team today and the match score was 3-0 (25-13, 37-35, 25-14) to open the 2019 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo was top scorer for Cuba with 14 points, and teammates Marlon Yang and Javier Concepción contributed 10 each. Wagner Chacon was top scorer for the losing side with 12 points.

Cuba has already locked up a spot in the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier next January, but still has the goal to win this tournament.

Cuba head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez: “We didn’t play very well today. We made a lot of mistakes. Guatemala is a young team and with another team with more experience, I don’t know what could have happened. I am happy with the win, but we need to increase our level with the next match.”

Guatemala head coach, Reider Lucas Mora: “We were ready for a really strong game against Cuba. We fought really hard in the second set with six chances to win the set and our players left everything on the court. I am proud of them today…. We are going against another strong team tomorrow, but we will work hard to get better every day of the tournament.”

Tournament note: It was announced on Sunday that this is now a seven-team tournament after Suriname withdrew at the last minute.

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Cuba serves and blocks to defeat USA

The U.S. Men put up a fight, but Cuba was too tough and took a 25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 25-14 in a NORCECA Champions Cup match at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center.

The U.S. Men (1-1) will play Canada (0-2) in the round-robin finale on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT. Cuba (2-0) will play Puerto Rico (1-1) at 1 p.m. MT. Matches are being shown live at

Cuba and the U.S. Men tied in attacks (47-47). Cuba led in blocks (11-6) and aces (10-6). Cuba scored 29 points on U.S. errors and committed 22.

Osniel Mergarejo and Robertlandy Simon led Cuba with 16 points each. Mergarejo had 11 attacks, three blocks and two aces. Simon finished with 10 kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace.

Michael Wexter and Cody Kessel led the United States with 13 points each.

Cuba coach Nicolas Vives: “The Americans are an excellent team. I liked how they played. I like the tactics of the U.S. The most important thing is that we won.”

USA coach Matt Werle: “We looked a little intimidated. We didn’t play with the personality that we had for the last eight or nine days. It seemed like they took us away from that and that’s something I’m pretty disappointed about. When we put some service pressure on them, we got ourselves in nice situations. Our transition numbers were not what they should have been, and that’s something that we obviously would have needed. Cuba’s a team that likes to end points quickly, and we allowed them to do that. It was tough to withstand. They’re a very good, strong and physical, and they’re good from the service line. They were better than us tonight.”

USA player Michael Wexter: “They played a lot better than they did last night against Canada. They were serving absolute rockets at us. They didn’t miss a lot, which is crazy because they were ripping the ball like 75 mph or more. Toward the end of the match, they started blocking a lot of balls that were falling earlier in the match against them. They started to tighten little things up that we were getting through earlier in the match.”

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Cuba opens with thrilling victory

Canada almost spoiled Robertlandy Simon’s return to competition with the Cuban National Team, but Cuba pulled off the five-set (25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-11) victory at the NORCECA Champions Cup at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center.

Canada led Cuba in attacks (54-51) and blocks (13-7). But Cuba’s serving was dominant and it led in aces (9-2). Cuba also scored 39 points off Canada’s errors while committing 28.

Canada’s Blake Scheerhoorn led all scorers with 17 points on 15 attacks and two blocks. Cuba’s Marlon Yang led his team with 15 points on 12 attacks and three aces.

Simon, who left the Cuban National Team to play professionally, scored 10 points on eight attacks and two blocks.

Cuba Captain Livan Osoria: “We had a little bit of a slow start, but at the end of the day, we got it. We’re excited to be here.”

Cuba Coach Nicolas Vives: “Canada is a great team, but my guys played great and did everything they could. I’m proud of them.”

On the fifth set

“’They’re really young players and needed a little bit of help, but they were ready to go come the end of the game. They knew what they were doing at that point. I trust them and let them know I trust them. That’s a big part of it.”

Canada Captain Danny Demyanenko: “It took a little bit of time for both teams to get going. The first couple sets were one team having a really good set while the other one struggled, and then it would flip flop. Toward the end down the stretch, it was getting really tight, the fourth and the fifth sets were very tight. Unfortunately, we came out on the losing end of that battle to a very good Cuban team. We’re excited that we battled this hard and look forward to what else is going to come in this tournament.”

Canada Coach Ryan Marsden: “It’s obviously disappointing. Our guys battled as hard as they could. When it looked like we were down and out in game four, they came from nowhere. Our biggest Achilles heel today was just missing serves. Our biggest strength was our block defense. When we miss our serve, we’re not able to show that on a consistent basis. I’m really, really, really proud of our guys.”

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Nicolas Bruno of Argentina MVP at Lima 2019 Pan American Games

Argentinean captain Nicolas Bruno was named the Most Valuable Player MVP at the eighteenth Lima 2019 Pan American Games on Sunday at the Multisport Complex El Callao in Lima, Peru.

Argentina beat Cuba 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-20) on Sunday’s Gold medal match winning their second Pan Am Games Gold medal in a row and third overall title (1995, 2015) and Brazil won the bronze medal to Chile 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-21).

After receiving the MVP award, Nicolas Bruno said “this is a nice gesture, I am really excited for my team’s feat. If the team receives distinctions it’s nice, but it doesn’t compare with the joy of winning a championship”.

Dream Team

1st Best Outside Hitter Carlos Barreto (BRA)

2nd Best Outside Hitter Vicente Parraguirre (CHI)

1st Best Blocker Livan Osoria (CUB)

2nd Best Blocker Roamy Alonso (CUB)

Best Setter Matias Sanchez (ARG)

Best Libero Sebasitan Castillo (CHI)

Best Opposite Maurice Torres (PUR)

MVP Nicolas Bruno (ARG)

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Belize to host Central American Beach Volleyball championship

Belize will host the XIX Central American Men’s & Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship from August 16-18, 2019 at Kukumba Beach, Old Belize.

Male and Female Teams from seven Central American countries (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama) will participate.

Games will start at 9 am each day and run through 6 pm with matches on two sand courts at Old Belize. Entrance fee is $10 for a full day of international beach volleyball action.

The Belize Teams are:

Emma Hoare and Clara Sabal (Female Team)

Bryton Codd and Francis Hauze (Male Team)

Michael Jenkins and Edgar Martinez (Male Team)

The Belize Volleyball Association is asking all volleyball fans to come out and support the Belize Teams during the three days of high-level beach volleyball action.

Belize has some very strong teams, who have been training with Cuban Coach Profe Juan Carlos Perdomo since the beginning of the year.

Belize’s athletes are well-prepared and have shown excellent results in international tournaments so far this year.

After Francis Hauze and Michael Jenkins brought home the bronze medal from the U-21 Central American Beach Volleyball Championship in Guatemala last month, all players and fans are excited and ready for more. Belize is ready to go for the Gold!

Kukumba Beach at Old Belize will be the perfect atmosphere for high-energy fun for all sports enthusiasts during this action-packed weekend event.

The Belize Volleyball Association (BVA) thanks Old Belize for its partnership in hosting this event, as well as major sponsors Central TV & Internet, TNC-10, Bowen & Bowen Ltd., and the Belize Tourism Board.

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