Cuba blanks Trinidad and Tobago


TIJUANA, Mexico, April 29, 2012 – Three-time Olympic champions and world No. 10 Cuba blanked Trinidad and Tobago (25-15, 25-7, 25-12) in the opening match of Pool B of the NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualifier Tournament on Sunday.


Cuba dominated their opponents at the net with 9 blocks against only two by Trinidad and Tobago and also won the battle from the service line with a 10-2 margin in the aces category.


Yoana Palacios topped Cuba with 15 points and Yanelis Santos added 11 including three aces and three blocks. Wilma Salas contributed nine points to the victory.


Cuba’s Captain Yusidey Silie commented: “We are almost at one hundred percent. This was our first match at this tournament. Trinidad and Tobago has improved a lot. We were a little confused at the first set, but increased our level and played better in the end.”


“We had a tough match and everything we do is taken step by step,” Trinidadian Krystle Esdelle said. “This team is in an evolution process.”


Cuba’s Coach Juan Carlos Gala said:  “The first match is always difficult. We saw a very young team from Trinidad and Tobago, very different as we thought. We were under pressure in the first set but the team knew how to move forward.”


 “We felt satisfied since we faced a very tough team like Cuba,” Trinidad and Tobago’s Coach Francisco Cruz expressed. “More than mistakes from us, I think Cuba had a lot of success in plays like the service that stabilized them.”