Cubans Gonzalez and Díaz going for hat-trick in Manzanillo
Manzanillo, Mexico, May 28, 2014 – The NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit returns to Manzanillo after a two-year hiatus for the fifth edition of the double-gender tournament in the south western coast of Mexico from May 30 to June 1.
Cuban men Nivaldo Díaz and Sergio González will be going for a record-tying third consecutive victory a feat achieved four times in the history of the tournament.
Mexicans Juan Virgen and Aldo Miramontes accomplished the hat-trick in the 2009 and the 2010 seasons, Puerto Rican Roberto Rodriguez won three in a row with three different partners in 2012 and Virgen repeated in 2013 with Lombardo Ontiveros.
Díaz and González came out winners of the previous two stops held in Guatemala (Guatemala City and Antigua Guatemala) with victories over William Montgomery and Stafford Slick of United States and Rodríguez and Erick Haddock, respectively.
Rodriguez and Haddock have finished on the podium in the three previous tournaments of the NORCECA Circuit 2014 with bronze medals in Cayman Islands and Guatemala City before the silver medal in Antigua Guatemala.
To succeed in Manzanillo, Díaz and Gonzalez will have to sort out the major roadblock represented by the favorite Mexican duo of Ontiveros and Virgen, the latter winner of the last three events here when he teamed up with Aldo Miramontes.
Since they began their association halfway in 2012, Ontiveros and Virgen have dominated winning eight gold medals in the NORCECA Circuit, including a record of six titles last year.
In the women’s portion of the tournament, the United States pair of Heather Hughes and Christal Engle will try to repeat the success attained in Guatemala City when they claimed the title by outlasting Costa Rica’s Karen Cope and Natalia Alfaro.
The duo of Hughes and Engle also took the bronze medal at the inaugural event of the season in Cayman Islands.
Mexicans Martha Revuelta and Bibi Candelas are off to their debut in the season and have to be considered among the favorites given their long list of achievements throughout the years.
Candelas top the list of gold medal winners in the history of the competition with 10 while Revuelta has won 29 medals, including two titles since she started playing alongside Candelas.
The Canadian team of Melissa Humana and Taylor Pishcke, runner-ups at Cayman Islands, is another strong tandem rated with a good chance here, while Cuba Lianma Flores, winner of the bronze in Antigua Guatemala with Leila Martinez, is now playing with new partner Maylen Delis.
NORCECA Circuit Winners in 2014
Place Men Women
Cayman Islands Rogers/Brunner USA Hunkus/McGiven-Dicello USA
Guatemala Ciity González/Díaz CUB Hughes/Engle USA
Antigua Guatemala González/Díaz CUB Hunkus/McGiven-Dicello USA
Past Winners in Manzanillo
Year Men Women
2008 Kindelán/Munder CUB Canet/Sinal CUB
2009 Virgen/Miramontez MEX Canet/Crespo CUB
2010 Virgen/Miramontes MEX Sinal/Ballar CUB
2011 Virgen/Miramontes MEX Candelas/García MEX
Men’s teams registered
Canada-A (Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter), Canada-B (Simon Fecteau-Boutin/James Battiston), Costa Rica (Josué Flores/David Alpizar), Cuba (Sergio González/Nivaldo Díaz), El Salvador (Carlos Escobar/David Vargas), Guatemala (Julio Recinos/Luis García), Honduras (Mercuri Miller/Walter Sánchez), Mexico-A (Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen), Mexico-B (Juan Revuelta/Ricardo Galindo), Mexico-C (Ulises Ontiveros/Salvador Frías), Mexico D (Aldo Miramontes/Juan Rodríguez), Mexico-E (José Jurado/Miguel Cárdenas), Nicaragua (Rubén Mora/Miguel López), Puerto Rico (Roberto Rodriguez/Eric Haddock), St Kitts & Nevis (St Clair Hodge/Kemoroy Percival), Trinidad & Tobago (Colin Bernard/Fabien Whitfield), United States-A (Skyler McCoy/Marty Lorenz), United States-B (Derek Olson/Kevin McColloch).
Women’s teams registered
Canada-A (Melissa Humana/Taylor Pischke), Canada-B (Claudia Seguin/Brandie Wilkerson), Costa Rica (Katherine Quezada/Eugenia Ramírez), Cuba (Lianma Flores/Maylen Delis), Curacao (Samira Luis/Christine Anthony), El Salvador (María Vargas/Kathya Vásquez), Guatemala (María José Orellana/María Andrea Orellana), Honduras (Gina Flores/Martha Euceda), Mexico-A (Martha Revuelta/Bibi Candelas), Mexico-B (Stephanie Burnside/Yesenia Castro), Mexico-C (Itzel Santoyo/Frida López), Mexico-D (Polet Cruz/Vanessa Virgen), Trinidad & Tobago (Ayana Dyette/Nancy Joseph), United States-A (Allison Daley/Kendra Vanzweiten), United States-B (Heather Hughes/Christal Engle).