Cuba jumps to third, Dominicans win Pool A



TORONTO, Canada, July 20, 2015 – Cuba leapfrogged Canada for third place in Pool A of the women’s volleyball at the Pan American Games by defeating the Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20) at Toronto Exhibition Center on Monday.


Cuba and Canada both finished with 1-2 win-loss record and 5 points, but Cuba concluded with a better point-ratio with .957 to .873.


The Dominican side secured the first place in the pool and a direct ticket to the semifinal round with a better point-ratio than Argentina as both teams concluded at 2-1 and 10 points. The Dominicans finished with a balance of 1.213 to .992 of Argentina.


Scoring machine Melissa Vargas had 23 points, including two blocks and one ace, to lead Cuba. Sulian Matienzo added 13 in the victory, including three aces.


Prisilla Rivera came from the bench to lead the Dominican team in scoring with 13 points, followed by Gina Mambru with 11 and Yonkaira Peña and Annerys Vargas each with 10.


Cuba outblocked Dominican Republic 14-7 and held the advantage in service winners 7-5.


Roberto García, Coach of Cuba: “The girls played with lesser mistakes today. They did not fail like in the two previous days. It was a match with a lot of tension. We did not come to win 3-0 or 3-1, we came to play our volleyball. Things worked out, we experienced some difficulties, we lost twice in our complex two, then we recovered and failed again, but it is part of their age, because they are so young. In the end this was a positive thing. We are happy for this win, and we have to wait and see how our point differential is to move on.”


Sulian Matienzo, Captain of Cuba: “We knew that Dominican Republic was a very strong team with a lot of experience. However we wanted to go out and give all of our best against them. We just changed our enthusiasm and showed a great and different attitude.”


Marcos Kwiek, coach of Dominican Republic: “It was a very difficult match. The good thing is that we advanced to the semifinals, even though nobody wants to get there losing a match. We will have an extra day to study our next rival. Today we failed too many attacks and that’s one of the strengths of our team.”


Prisilla Rivera, player of Dominican Republic: “It was a very bad game from our side. Cuba took advantage of our weaknesses today. We didn’t have the concentration. Physically, I am not 100 percent yet, but I am getting there.”