MEXICALI, Baja California.- Yumilka Ruiz was head and shoulders above the rest of her peers and Cuba defeated Dominican Republic 3-1 in the gold medal match of the Women Centenal of Mexicali played in front of more than 5,000 fans in the State Auditorium.
The sets finished 25-19, 22-25, 25-14 and 25-16.
Ruiz, who is the captain of Cuba, had at least a dozen cannon ball spikes uncontested by the Dominican defense, confirming her position as a top class player.
In the first set, the three-time Olympic champions, relied on the good job of Yaima Ortiz and Liana Mesa, while the second plagued by errors- went to the Dominicans.
The blocks and spikes of Nancy Carrillo gave Cuba the wide margin in the third set and Ruiz took care of things in the fourth with a spectacular performance.
In the match for the bronze medal, United States beat Mexico 3-2 (25-21, 28-26, 25-27, 20-25 and 16-14. and was the fourth five-setter for the Americans during the tournament.
Saul Castro Verdugo, director of Baja California Sports Institute, and Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, president of Norceca, presented the Champions'Cup to the Cubans and their coach Luis Felipe Calderon.
The individual awards went to Zoila Barros (CUB) Most Valuable Player, Elizabeth Blackman (USA) best attacker, Nancy Carrillo (CUB) best service, Evelyn Carrera (DOM) best defense, Yendy Cortinas (MEX) best receiver, Diana Mesa (CUB) best blocker, Francia Jackson (DOM) best setter and Celia Cordova (MEX) best libero.
"We are very happy after winning this tournament and it is a good way of preparation for the Cup of Nations to be played in Switzerland."
"We all are very grateful to the fans of Mexicali for their support during the event, and I have to say that not only the people from this town but from all Baja California always have been very friendly during each of our visits to this area."