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Cuba wins U20 Women’s Pan Am Bronze

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, May 13, 2017.- Cuba won the U20 Women’s Pan American Cup Bronze medal match after defeating Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-20) at San Jose, Costa Rica.

Cuba and Puerto Rico contested a gloomy bronze medal match, with Cuba recovering from a five point deficit in set two. The winners weren’t as energetic as their usual performing style while winning their second bronze medal in the tournament’s history. Cuba finishes with 3-1 record and Puerto Rico with 2-2.

Cuba outblocked Puerto Rico by a huge 10-3 margin, while sustaining advantage in kills by 39-27. Puerto Rico scored on 9 aces and Cuba three. The difference in errors was slim; Cuba committed 20 and Puerto Rico 23.

Leading Cuba with double digits was top scorer Heidy Casanova with 15 points, Diaris Perez contributed with 12, Ailama Cese and Laura Suarez tallied 11 and 10 points respectively. On Puerto Rico’s side, Paulina Perez led with 11 points and Dariana Hollingsworth with 10.

Diaris De La Caridad Perez, Cuba’s captain: “We didn’t reach our goal; we wanted to play for gold and qualify to the world championship. Our matches were demanding y the team improved a lot”.

Wilfredo Robinson, Cuba’s Head Coach: “This match is an example of what happens when Cuba faces teams who the players believe have lower level than they do. We are trying to make them understand that no matter who their opponent is, they must perform strong. Several athletes showed progress, like Gretell Moreno, Laura Suarez and Heidy Casanova. We need to develop more game abilities and combine them with our strength”.

Dariana Hollingsworth, Puerto Rico’s captain: “My team has U14 and U16 players, competing at a higher category, so I consider we did a good job. Today we battled hard up to the end; I know we could have finished in better place”.

Julio Melendez, Puerto Rico’s Head Coach: “Cuba is taller and stronger than us, but my players were focused and performed very well, we even were up in scores. My team did good today”.