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Three in a row for Mexicans Ontiveros and Virgen

Lombardo Ontiveros (left) and Juan Virgen of Mexico celebrate after their third title in a row and fifth of the year in NORCECA Circuit
Boqueron, Puerto Rico, September 22, 2013- The Mexican duo of Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen continues to pile up victories in the NORCECA Circuit as they captured the Porta del Sol Beach Volleyball Tournament at Boqueron, on Sunday afternoon.

Ontiveros-Virgen outplayed Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Héctor Soto 15-21, 21-17, 15-9 claiming their third title in a row and fifth of the year.

With five victories in one single year Ontiveros and Virgen tied the record Virgen established in 2010 when he had Aldo Miramontes as his partner.

The Mexicans have won the gold medals in Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Cuba, Mazatlán (México) and Puerto Rico.

In the semifinals, Ontiveros and Virgen defeated Josh Binstock and Samuel Schachter of Canada-A 21-18, 21-11 while Rodriguez and Soto overcame Grant O’Gorman and Sam Pedlow of Canada-A 14-21, 21-15, 16-14.

“We were able to recover from the setback in the first set,” Virgen said. “It was not easy as the competition is of a very high quality and the teams are pretty much in the same level. The reason of our success I think it is keeping the calm and going step by step.”

“It was a very tough match against Puerto Rico as the home team,” Ontiveros said. “Things came up together at the end for us to win. I hope we don’t get used to winning because it is very tough to reach some level but it is even tougher to stay there.”

In an All-Canadian bronze medal match, Grant O’ Gorman and Samuel Schachter of Canada-A edged compatriots Josh Binstock and Sam Pedlow of Canada-B in three sets (21-17, 21-23, 15-13).

It was the second medal of the season and fourth overall for the team of O’Gorman-Pedlow who finished with a silver medal in Mazatlan, Mexico last week. 

In the women’s division, Sara Hughes and Lane Carico of United States-A won the women’s gold medal. Hughes and Carico scored a 21-10, 21-18 victory over Kacie MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker of Canada-A, winners in Guatemala this year.

It was the second consecutive podium for Carico, who teamed up with Heather Hughes to win the bronze medal in Mazatlán, Mexico the previous weekend.

In the semifinal round, Hughes and Carico came from behind to claim a thrilling three-set (14-21, 21-13, 16-14) victory over Martha Revuelta and Bibi Candelas of Mexico-A. MacTavish-Whitaker also needed three sets to win 21-10, 17-21, 15-7 against Stevi Robinson and Kirby Burnham of United States-B.

“It is our first international tournament playing together and it was great to have the chance in the finals,” Carico said right after taking a shower. “We haven’t played against them in Mazatlan so we didn’t have any expectations and focused on our side of the net.”

She also added: “The quality of the sand here is very good”.

Hughes, a bronze medalist in this year’s FIVB U-19 World Championship in Porto, Portugal, said: “It is only our second time playing together. We were tested in the semifinals by a great Mexican team.”

About her dreams of playing in the Olympics some day: “That’s true and it is one of my goals. I need to work very hard, and that’s what I am planning to do.”

In the match for the bronze medal, Revuelta and Candelas defeated Robinson and Burnham 2-0 (21-18, 21-11).

For Candelas, the all-time gold medal winner with 10, it was her fourth career bronze medal and 16th medal in total. For Revuelta, the all-time medal winner in the history of the NORCECA Circuit, it was her 26th.

Men’s Results

Gold Medal Match: MEX d PUR-A 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-9). Bronze Medal Match: CAN-A d CAN-B 2-1 (21-17, 21-23, 15-13). Semifinals: MEX d CAN-B 2-0 (21-18, 21-11), PUR-A d CAN-A 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 16-14). Consolation Round: DOM d GUA 2-1 (24-22, 18-21, 15-11), TRI d CRC 2-1 (28-26, 20-22, 19-17). TRI d DOM 2-0 (24-22, 22-20).

Final Positions:  1. MEX, 2. PUR-A, 3. CAN-A, 4. CAN-B, 5. USA-B, 6. PUR-B, 7. ARU-A, 8. CUR, 9. TRI, 10. DOM, 11. CRC, 12, GUA, 13. ARU-B, 14. USA-A.

Women’s Results

Gold Medal Match: USA-A d CAN-A 2-0 (21-10, 21-18). Bronze Medal Match: MEX-A d USA-B 2-0 (21-13, 21-12). Semifinals: USA-A d MEX-A 2-1 (14-21, 21-13, 16-14), CAN-A d USA-B 2-1 (21-10, 17-21, 15-7). Consolation Round: ESA d GUA 2-1 (21-15, 13-21, 15-10), DOM d PUR-B 2-0 (21-14, 21-15). DOM d ESA 2-1 (12-21, 21-15, 17-15).

Final Positions: 1. USA-A, 2. CAN-A, 3. MEX-A, 4. USA-B, 5. MEX-B, 6. CAN-B, 7, PUR-A, 8. TRI, 9. DOM, 10. ESA, 11. PUR-B, 12. GUA, 13. PUR-C, 14. CRC, 15. HON, 16. JAM.

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