Tijuana, Mexico, June 22, 2010 - The unbeaten teams of USA and Cuba both secured tickets to next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix with both sides advancing directly to the semifinals of the Women’s Pan American Cup as pool winners of the intercontinental competition on Tuesday in Tijuana, Mexico.
Second placed sides Dominican Republic (3-1) and Peru (4-1) will play quarterfinal matches against Puerto Rico (3-2) and Argentina (2-2) respectively on Thursday with the winners also entering the 2011 premier annual women’s event.
The top three NORCECA ranked teams in the tournament and the top ranked side from South America earn spots in the FIVB competition. Semifinal and final matches are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
USA v Mexico
USA defeated Mexico in straight sets (25-14, 25-16, 25-15) to win Pool B with an unbeaten record of 5-0. The triumph earned the Americans a direct ticket to the semifinal round of the event and to FIVB World Grand Prix. Megan Hodge and Nancy Metcalf were the best scorers of the winning side with 12 and 11 points respectively and Heather Bown chipped in nine. Andrea Rangel and Samantha Bricio scored 11 and 10 points for the hosts.
Cuba v Argentina
Cuba overcame Argentina 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22) to win Pool A with an unbeaten record of 4-0. The victory earned Cuba a berth in the semifinals and in next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix while Argentina finished in third place and progress to the quarterfinals. Kenia Carcaces scored a match high 24 points to lead the Cuban offense while Yilian Cleger (18), Rachel Sanchez (13) and Yoana Palacios (11) also contributed in double digits to the victory. Argentineans Lucia Fresco and Antonela Bortolozzi each tallied 10 points.
Peru v Costa Rica
Peru defeated winless Costa Rica in a lopsided match 3-0 (25-7, 25-7, 25-9) to finish with a 4-1 record and second place in Pool B. The winners had a 9-0 advantage in both serve and blocking categories. Karla Ortiz topped the winners with 12 points while Patricia Soto added eight. Mirtha Soriano, Jessenia Uceda and Elena Keldibekova each contributed seven points.
Dominican Republic v Canada
The Dominican Republic defeated Canada 3-1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-14) to claim second place in Pool A, with a 3-1 record. Dominican Jeoselyna Rodriguez came off the bench to lead her side with 15 points. Four other teammates finished in double figures as Prisilla Rivera, Annerys Vargas, Lisvel Eve and Milagros Cabral charted 14, 13, 12 and 10 points respectively. Canadian Sarah Pavan had a match-high 17 points while Tammy Mahon and Tonya Mokelki chipped in 13 and 11 tallies.
Puerto Rico v Trinidad & Tobago
Puerto Rico beat Trinidad & Tobago 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-18) to finish third in Pool B. Shanon Torregrosa notched 10 points to lead the winners, who benefited from 34 errors from their opponents while committing only 15. Puerto Rican Sarai Alvarez added nine. Trinidadians Kelly-Anne Billingy and Krystle Esdelle charted 11 and 10 points for the defeated side.
The final standings in the preliminary round pool play were as follows:
Pool A: Cuba (4-0), Dominican Republic (3-1), Argentina (2-2), Brazil (1-3), Canada (0-4).
Pool B: USA (5-0), Peru (4-1), Puerto Rico (3-2), Trinidad & Tobago (2-3), Mexico (1-4), Costa Rica (0-5).