USA finds its focus in win over Cuba


WINNIPEG, Canada, September 4, 2019 - Team USA was in good form today in a win over Cuba 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-22) at the 2019 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.


Torey Defalco and Kyle Ensing had 12 points each for the United States.  Miguel Angel Lopez was Cuba’s top contributor with 16 points (including three aces).


Cuba led in service points 9-8, but the Americans had the advantage in attacks (34-24) and blocks (9-2).


The USA advances directly to the semifinals on Friday.


Cuba has already locked up a spot in the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier next January, but still has the goal to win this tournament. The U.S. is already qualified for the 2020 Olympics.


USA, head coach, John Hawks: “It’s the best we’ve played this week for sure. I liked our guys focus and determination – I knew that to play Cuba we would have to fire these guys up a lot, so I give 100 percent credit to our guys. They executed their game plan – they came in focused and dialed in. We didn’t play great yesterday, so to rebound from that was really good to see. Great character on our part - and credit to Cuba, they are a fantastic team.”


USA captain Micah Ma’a: “I think they’re a really good serving team and that motivated us to step up our serving game.  We knew there were going be a lot of bombs from the service line, so I think we’re happy with our serving and receiving.  We still can get better in communication and our connections can be a lot cleaner, and that just comes with time, so the deeper we get into the tournament, the better volleyball we will play.”


Cuba head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez: “It was a very good game. The United States played very strong, their serving was very good. Also, the attacks and blocks were there. Congratulations to the USA on a great match. We now have to be ready for the next game.”