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PRESS RELEASE 06/18/2005

Cuba confirmed as major power in Women’s Pan American Cup

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, June 18, 2005.- Cuba showed why is one of the major power in women’s volleyball conquering the Pan American Cup with an easy victory over Dominican Republic by score of 25-16, 25-17, 25-19.

Brazil, with the U-20 team that will play in Turkey next month, took the third place defeating USA in four sets (25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17).

Yumilka Ruiz led the Cubans with 13 points and Nancy Carrillo, Yaima Ortiz and Dami Ramirez had 11, 9 and 8 respectively. Kenia Moreta was the best Dominican with 10 points.

Suelle Oliveira was the best Brazilian with 17 and Fernanda Rodrigues and Regiane Bidias each scored 16. Jennifer Joines and Nancy Metcalf each had 16 for USA and Patrice Arrington and Elisha Thomas scored 11 points apiece.

“I am very happy with the victory and the team showed a lot of determination,” said Luis Felipe Calderon, the Cuban coach. “It is always very interesting to play against Dominican Republic at their home. Our original goal was to be in the final four and we finished there. So winning the title is a plus.”

Francisco Cruz, coach of Dominican Republic: “I am satisfied with the result because the team is going through a renovation process. We need to keep working hard in order to close the distance with the top teams in the world.”

Antonio Rizola, the Brazilian coach: “The support of the crowd was crucial especially in the fourth set. Now we have to keep practicing for the World Championship in Turkey.”

Lang Ping, the USA coach: “We go now to the Grand Prix in a couple of days. We have a young team and this tournament has been a learning experience for much of the players.”

Yudelkis Bautista, of Dominican Republic, was elected as the MVP of the Pan American Cup. The rest of the All-Star was as follows: Nancy Metcalf (USA), best scorer; Yumilka Ruiz (CUB), best spiker; Adenizia Silva (BRA), best blocker; Annie Levesque (CAN), best defense and libero; Lindsey Berg (USA), best setter; Suelen Pinto (BRA), best receiver and Ana Mercado (MEX), best server.

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