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Ontiveros and Virgen triumph in Varadero

Mexico's Juan Virgen (left) and Lombardo Ontiveros won for the third time this year in the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit
Varadero, Cuba, August 25, 2013 – The Mexican duo of Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen scored a convincing victory over Josh Binstock and Samuel Schachter of Canada-B to take the gold medal of the Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament, the fifth leg of the 2013 NORCECA Circuit.

Ontiveros and Virgen won 21-14, 21-14, following a 21-18, 21-19 semifinal’s victory over the Canadian pair of Grant O’Gorman and Samuel Pedlow.

In the match for the bronze medal, O’Gorman-Pedlow defeated Cuba’s Karell Piña and Sergio González in straight sets 21-14, 21-13.

It was the third gold medal of the year for the Mexican pair who also won in Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Virgen grabbed his 19th gold medal (25th overall) in the history of the circuit and the fifth with Ontiveros as his partner.

At the end of the match, Virgen recalled winning the silver medal two years ago in Varadero, the famous international Cuban resort.

“The competition in the circuit is becoming stronger each and every time with teams of better level,” Virgen said. “We won with our determination to control the match and the strategy paid off.”

While recognizing the quality of both Canadian duos, Ontiveros admitted the toughest opponents were the Cubans Piña and Gonzalez of Cuba-A in the quarterfinals.
“You can’t allow them to lift their rhythm because they can crush you with their big power,” Ontiveros said.

In the women’s tournament Melissa Humana and Taylor Pischke of Canada-A showed all their talent in winning the crown with a victory over the top team of Cuba.

Humana and Taylor had to face the strong resistance from Lianma Flores and Leila Martínez but at the end relied on their finesse touching the ball and good defense to win 2-1 (29-31, 21-18, 15-12) in the longest match of the competition that lasted 1 hour and 14 minutes.

The North American duo, winners of the bronze medal in the U19 Beach Volleyball World Championship, advanced to the gold medal match with a 21-18, 21-16 victory over the experienced pair of Martha Revuelta and Bibiana Candelas (Mexico-A).

Flores and Martinez also had to play three sets in their semifinal match before winning 21-23, 21-12, 15-6 over Kacie MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker of Canada-B.

Revuelta and Candelas recovered to win the bronze medal defeating MacTavish and Whitaker 2-0 (21-10, 21-16).

“We are very happy to win this match against a very strong team,” Humana in an interview with Cubavision TV. “The weather was very hot during the weekend but we were able to adjust and played well.”

Men’s results of Sunday

Semifinals: MEX d CAN-A 2-0 (21-18, 21-19), CAN-B d CUB-A 2-1 (18-21, 22-20, 15-13). Bronze medal match: CAN-A d CUB-A 2-0 (21-14, 21-13). Gold medal match: MEX d CAN-B 2-0 (21-14, 21-14)

Final positions: 1. MEX, 2. CAN-B, 3. CAN-A, 4. CUB-A, 5. CUB-C , 6. CUB-B, 7. PUR, 8. DOM, 9. CUR, 10. LCA, 11. NCA, 12. ESA, 13. ISV, 14. GUA, 15. CAY, 16. BAR, 17. CRC, 18. ARU-A, 19. ARU-B, 20. JAM.

Women’s results of Sunday

Semifinals: CAN-A d MEX-A 2-0 (21-18, 21-16), CUB-A d CAN-B 2-1 (21-23, 21-12, 15-6). Bronze medal match: MEX-A d CAN-B 2-0 (21-10, 21-16). Gold medal match: CAN-A d CUB-A 2-1 (29-31, 21-18, 15-12)

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