Puerto Rico with positive record at home


CAROLINA, Puerto Rico, July 27, 2014 – Puerto Rico finished the first weekend of the intercontinental round of the FIVB World Grand Prix with a positive 2-1 result following an impressive 3-0 victory over Cuba on Sunday.


In Lima, Peru, Canada lost to a stronger Belgium side in straight set while hosts Mexico lost to Bulgaria in Mexico City.


Cuba and Canada, the two NORCECA countries taking part of the second group under the new format of the annual competition, remained winless after three outings.


Playing in the development third group of eight teams, Mexico finished the opening weekend with a 1-2 win-loss record.


Puerto Rico 3, Cuba 0

Puerto Rico completed its best performance in pools stage in the history of the World Grand Prix, beating Cuba 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25 -17) in the last match at the Guillermo Angulo Coliseum to finish in second place in Pool K. Two Puerto Rican players scored in double figures, Karina Ocasio with 18 points, Alexandra Oquendo with 11. Young Cuban Melissa Vargas led her team with 12 points. Puerto Rico and Cuba travel to Trujillo, Peru to face Peru and Poland in Pool M on the second week of the World Grand Prix.


Belgium 3, Canada 0

Belgium powered passed Canada in straight sets (25-13, 25-19, 28-26) in Sunday’s match. Belgium achieved its second victory in World Grand Prix play, and Canada is winless so far. Charlotte Leys was top scorer for Belgium with 14 points; Jaimie Thibeault scored six points for Canada. It was an exciting finish as Canada fought to survive in the third, but it wasn’t enough to hold off a more organized Belgium squad. Canada now goes to Belgium and Argentina to continue the intercontinental round of Group 2, along with seven other countries.


Bulgaria 3, Mexico 1

Bulgaria scored a strong victory over hosts Mexico 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21). Bulgaria finished the first weekend with a perfect 3-0 win-loss record while Mexico concluded with a 1-2 mark. The winners held a huge advantage in the blocking category 16-5 while Mexico topped in serves 4-3. Gabriela Tsvetanova led Bulgaria’s offense with a match-high, 24 points, including 6 in blocks and one ace. Nasya Dimitrova had 16 points while Viktoriya Grigorova and Slavina Koleva contributed 15 and 13 points, respectively. Mexico’s Lizbeth Sainz finished with 18 points and Zaira Orellana added 13 points.