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Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago win NORCECA Q openers

Cuba's middle blocker Rosanna Giel attacks against Curacao on Wednesday at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum in Havana
Havana, Cuba, May 14, 2014 - Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago opened with victories at the FIVB Women´s World Championship NORCECA Qualification Tournament Pool Q on Wednesday.

Cuba capped the day with a straight-set 3-0 (25-5, 25-17, 25-18) victory over Curacao, following Trinidad and Tobago's 3-1 win (17-25, 25-3, 25-9, 25-12) over Haiti.

The younger but bigger Cubans showed superior tactics and technique, even though they also produced a number of unforced errors, especially when serving.

School-girl Melissa Vargas (only 14 years old) was the top scorer of the match with 16 points. The other double-digit scorer for the home team was Jennifer Alvarez, who contributed 13. Curacao’s Christine Anthony finished with 11 points.

Cuba’s coach Juan Carlos Gala said: "The first match is always a difficult one especially for such a young team. I think the serves were not at the peak level and that’s our weapon to face the other teams, but the win is rewarding in front of your fans and something that, paradoxically, we almost never do.”

In the other match, Jalicia Ross-Kydd and Krystle Esdelle each scored 12 points to lead the Trinidadians, while Channon Thompson and Kelly-Anne Billingy contributed 10 points apiece in the victory. Haiti’s Esther Joachin finished with 12 tallies.

“My players were caught off guard a little bit with a slow game and low attacks,” Trinidad and Tobago coach Francisco Cruz stated. “Nevertheless they recovered as a team and as a result of that I am very happy now.”

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