Cuba claim first victory in Pool A


Lima, Peru, September 4, 2012 – Cuba dispatched Colombia in straight sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-21) to even up at 1-1 their win-loss record in Pool A of the U-23 Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup taking place at Miguel Grau Coliseum of El Callao in Lima.


The winners held advantages in attacks (37-21) and service aces (9-2) while the defeated side held slim margin of 9-8 in blocks.


Yaremi Mendaro had 13 points to lead the balanced offense of Cuba, followed by Yoana Palacio and Sulian Matienzo with 12 and 11 respectively. Alena Rojas and Daymara Lescay each contributed 8 tallies.


Colombia’s Silvia Galeano finished with 8 points and Melissa Rangel had 7, including four blocks.


“We were really nervous entering the match since we are a junior team against an U-23,” Colombia’s Maria Alejandra Marin said.


“The reality is that Cuba is also a team with many junior players since I am the eldest one at 21,” answered back Cuba’s Yoana Palacios.”Today we were more determined and we hope to qualify to next round.”


Cuba’s coach Juan Carlos Gala commended the improvement of Colombia and their presence in recent continental competitions.


“The service and the strength of Cuba were the keys for us today,” he said. “We had better communication between our setter and the rest of the players. The third set was the toughest one but we blocked well at the crucial moments.”


Colombia’s coach Oscar Guevara said: “We faced a very potent team in Cuba and we still have technical problems to overcome especially in our defense. Nevertheless, it was a good game for us.”