Palacio leads Cuba to fifth place


Lima, Peru, September 8, 2012 – Yoana Palacio recorded a match-high 24 in leading Cuba to a five-set victory (16-25, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 15-7) over Canada in the match for fifth place of the U-23 Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup on Saturday.


Four other Cubans had double digits in the scores as Regla Gracia charted 16, Daymara Lescay and Alena Rojas each compiled 12 while Sulian Matienzo collected 10.


Royale Richardson led Canada with 17 tallies followed by Casie Gano, Amy Leschied and Kelci French with 12, 11 and 10 respectively. Gano scored with 6 blocks and French finished with 5 aces.


Cuba held a 61-48 advantage in attacks to compensate their 31 errors to 22 by Canada. The winners led 13-9 in aces while the losers held an 11-8 difference in aces.


“The girls started out of focus and I had to do some changes,” Cuba’s Juan Carlos Gala said. “The bench players performed very well especially the setter Beatriz Vilchez.”


“Both teams gave their best and it was a pleasure to reach a fifth set against Cuba,” Canada’s Ryan Hofer said. “The players showed a lot of heart and that makes me feel happy.”


“Both teams went to battle in the fifth set and the result came out in our favor,” Cuba’s Palacio said. “I saw many players with good level in the whole championship.”


“We improved day by day and today it was a tough match but we enjoyed it,” Canada’s Kelci French said.