USA’s Muno and Sponcil claim ticket to Youth Games


FAJARDO, Puerto Rico, December 8, 2013 – United States’ Suzanne Muno and Sarah Sponcil edged Canada’s twins Megan and Nicole McNamara in three sets 21-19, 19-21, 16-14, booking tickets to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China as winners of the NORCECA Central Zone Girls’ Qualification Tournament on Sunday.


“Winning a spot to the Nanjing Games is awesome,” Sponcil said after the match. “It was a great experience and we liked the environment. I also want to thank NORCECA for organizing this tournament.”


“It is the first time we have been in a qualification tournament and we were decided to leave everything on the court,” Sponcil added. “We really never thought about the score.”


In their semifinal match, they had to battle hard to overcome Puerto Rico’s Lina Bernier and Eva Torruella winning 2-0 (29-27, 21-16). The McNamaras defeated Mexico’s Diana Valdez and Stephanie Burnside 21-11, 21-17.


Despite the loss and as runner-ups, the Canadians will have a last chance to qualify to Nanjing at the NORCECA Final Qualification Tournament next March where all the silver and bronze medalists of four zonal events will compete for two remaining spots to the Games.


In the match for third place and a spot the final confederation’s tournament, Valdez and Burnside edged Bernier and Torruella in three sets 23-21, 13-21, 20-18.


Girls’ Results

Semifinals:  CAN d MEX 2-0 (21-11, 21-17), USA d PUR 2-0 (29-27, 21-16). Bronze Medal Match: MEX d PUR 2-1 (23-21, 13-21, 20-18). Gold Medal Match: USA d CAN 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 16-14). Final Positions:  1. United States, 2. Canada, 3. Mexico, 4. Puerto Rico, 5. Dominican Republic.