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Cuba claims bronze medal, spot to world championship

SAN VICENTE DE CAÑETE, Peru, September 25, 2016 – Cuba held off a valiant reaction from hosts Peru to claim the bronze medal at the U23 Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup by Gatorade with a 3-2 (25-14, 25-19, 16-25, 12-25, 15-8) victory at Lolo Fernandez Coliseum on Sunday.

More than 4,000 spectators watched Cuba recovering to win the see-saw-match and avoid the repetition of the preliminary round contest when Peru erased an 0-2 deficit to get the win.

Cuba was already qualified to the 2017 FIVB U23 World Championship as one of the top two ranked teams from NORCECA competing in the event.

Yelennis Diaz led five Cuban players who scored in double digits with 14 points. She was followed by Diaris Perez (13), Claudia Hernández (12), Dalila Palma (11) and Heidy Casanova (10).

Angela Leyva once again topped Peru with 25 points and Maguilaura Frias added 11 in the loss. Leslie Leyva and Coraima Gomez finished with 9 and 8, respectively.

Both teams scored with 42 spikes and made 28 unforced errors. Peru held a slight margin of 16-15 in blocks while Cuba was better in service winners 8-5.

Roberto García, coach of Cuba: “I want to congratulate the team of Peru that was able to recover in the third and fourth sets, also to the crowd that came to the coliseum. I am grateful of my players because they played with good attitude in the fifth set. We have accomplished two objectives of being on the podium and in the U23 world championship. Now we have to continue working to correct mistakes and to grow as volleyball players.”

Mauro Marasciulo, coach of Peru: “It was very difficult to come back to the court today because of the fatigue and the frustration about not qualifying to the world championship. In the third and fourth sets they did a huge effort and played hearts out. I know they have a lot of room to grow up, a lot to offer and I also know they have a great commitment to their country.”