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Casanova and Gracia lead Cuba’s win over Canada

LIMA, Peru, June 17, 2017 – Heidy Casanova and Regla Gracia combined attack carried Cuba to a 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-10, 25-22) victory over Canada in the second match of Pool B at the XVI Women’s Pan American Cup on Saturday at Eduardo Dibos Coliseum.

Casanova had a match-high 23 points while Gracia added 22 as Cuba recovered from a slow start against the North Americans. Cuba’s captain Sulien Matienzo contributed 14 points in the victory. Kyla Richey was the best Canadian with 17 points, followed by Shainah Joseph with 9 points.

Canada lost two players –Marie Alex Belanger and Sarah Chase- with not severe ankle injuries in both are questionable for Sunday’s match against Trinidad & Tobago. Cuba meets hosts Peru.

Sulien Matienzo (Captain of Cuba): “I am very glad with the victory. We started a little bit nervous but were able to recover. The victory means a lot for us.”

Lucille Charuk (Captain of Canada): “Our game plan worked for the first set but then we went down and Cuba improved. A lot of things happened and we lost control while Cuba won a couple of runs and took advantage of our mistakes.”

Wilfredo Robinson (Coach of Cuba): “Canada’s blocking was very high and consistent during the first set and then we improved our reception and served better. We still made too many errors and need to reduce that but is a very young team and we expected it.”

Marcello Abbondanza (Coach of Canada): “We have been together just for a few weeks and Cuba’s game grew up a lot after the first set. I need to understand my team and find solutions now that we lost two players with injuries and I don’t know if they are going to be ready for the next match.”