Melissa Vargas leads Cuba to claim the Pan-Am U-23 Bronze Medal
ICA, Peru, September 13, 2014. – Cuba claimed the Bronze Medal
prevailing over hosts Peru 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 19-25, 25-17) with
impressive 31 points from young Melissa Vargas in the conclusion
of the II Women’s U-23 Pan-American Cup at Jose Oliva Razzeto
Young Melissa Vargas scored a tournament-high of 31 points,
including 24 kills, 3 blocks and 4 aces to stop the home team’s
efforts; Peru was left out of options while Cuba dominated with
stronger kills to finish in third place. Cuba was challenged by
Peru on several occasions; they even lost the fourth period with
Cuba showed superiority with a 50-38 margin in attacks and in
the blocking category with 12-7; their serves weren’t that
significant over Peru (7-6) nor did the unforced errors by each
team, Cuba have 28 and Peru 25.
Joining opposite player Vargas, were outside hitters Regla
Garcia and Sulian Matienzo with 10 tallies apiece. Captain
Angela Leyva led Peru with 16 points, followed by Katherine
Regalado with 12 points.
Juan Carlos Gala, Cuban coach indicated “I am very happy with my
team because after yesterday’s loss they recovered well and
today they fought strongly for third place. We lost
concentration in the third set because the crowd pressured a
lot, but in the fourth set with a player like Melissa Vargas we
managed to take control again and she finished a top scorer. Now
we’ll be traveling with a group of players to the world
championship in Italy and we hope better results”.
“It was a good match, the girls of Peru have good attacking
skills and they are a good opponent but we recovered from losing
the third set and in the fourth we reached our goal to finished
third” expressed Cuban captain Sulian Matienzo.
Natalia Malaga, Olympic medalist and Peruvian coach said “Cuba
improved their reception and they have a more solid blocking
than ours, their starting line-up is very similar while in ours
we only have three, now we have to continue improving the rest
of our players for the South American championship”.
Captain Angela Leyva of Peru said her team had a late recovery
“we played until the last moment, our energy was always high and
we never stopped fighting, we will continue to work because
there’s much to do and we should practice more for each match”.