Cuba Downs Costa Rica
OMAHA, Nebraska, September 20, 2013 –
Cuba defeated Costa Rica 26-24, 23-25, 25-15, 25-22 on Friday
afternoon to finish the 2013 Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s
Continental Championship in seventh place. The tournament
concludes on Saturday with three matches determining the top six
Cuba, the youngest squad in the nine-team tournament, was led by
its youngest player Melisa Vargas who had 18 points. She is one
month shy of turning 14 years of age. Jennifer Yanet Alvarez
added 15 points and Sulian Matienzo contributed 14 points. Costa
Rica was paced by Verania Wills’ 20 points, followed by Paolo
Ramirez Vargas’ 12 points.
Cuba’s offense produced a 54-38 advantage in kills to complement
margins of 12-9 in aces and 8-6 in blocks.
Cuba ended the tournament with a 2-2 record and consecutive
victories, which included a three-set win over St. Lucia on
Thursday night. Costa Rica ended the tournament in eighth place
with a 0-3 overall record.
Cuba Coach Juan C. Rodriguez: “I’m not 100 percent satisfied
ever. There are always things we can improve on and play better.
The players are not used to playing for seventh place, so their
energy wasn’t at the level we are used to. All the NORCECA
Championships are great competitions, especially when the U.S.
is the host. They do things at the top level. I was happy with
Cuba Captain Daymara Lescay: “Thank you for the hospitality.
This was a great training tool for all of us to get some
experience. We did not play well throughout the match,
especially me. On a personal level I was not playing well. But
thanks to my teammates, they were able to elevate the level of
play and we all came together at the end.”
Costa Rica Coach Horacio Nester: “We were most competitive in
the second set. But we didn’t play to the level of Cuba, which
came out strong and played well throughout the match. We’re not
happy with the place. Eighth place is not what we were hoping
for. We will take a lot of experience from here and hopefully
use it to improve at the next NORCECA Championship.”
Costa Rica Captain Angela Willis Lindo: “We have lost all our
games so we were hoping this game we could do better. We didn’t
do that badly, but we made a lot of mistakes and that’s what we
have to minimize. Just coming and participating in these
tournaments is a great experience. Thank you to Omaha and USA
Volleyball for your hospitality.”
Photos of the match can be found at
matches in the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental
Championship can be viewed online at