USA and Cuba win their pools in NORCECA Men’s
Langley, Canada, September 25, 2013 – United States and Cuba won their respective pools at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship as both sides triumphed on Tuesday to conclude with 2-0 win-loss records.
United States gradually caught rhythm to defeat the Dominican Republic in straight sets (25-19, 25-17, 25-9) and Cuba outscored Puerto Rico in four sets (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22). In the other match of the day Mexico defeated Guatemala in straight sets (25-18, 25-14, 25-23).
The teams must wait until after the final of pool play matches on Wednesday to find out if they have to play in Thursday’s quarterfinals as the two best-ranked pool winners will advance straight to the semifinals.
Canada and Mexico will clash on Wednesday in the decisive match of Pool C. The Dominican Republic play St Lucia while Puerto Rico take on Bahamas.
The winner of the NORCECA men’s championship will qualify to the FIVB Grand Champions Cup in November in Japan.
“I was happy that even when we were ahead 2-0, we continued to play very hard and we continued to improve throughout the match,” USA Coach John Speraw said. “I thought that third set we were better than the first. That’s what this tournament is all about is for us to continue to improve on what we’re doing on our side of the net.”
“I am glad but we still have to go on and improve our faults,” Cuba’s Coach Rodolfo Sanchez said. “The guys went on to the court and did a good job to win this match.”
“We had some mistakes, but the result was important,” Mexico’s Coach Sergio Hernandez said. “Fortunately we won, not the way we wanted, but winning is important to keep the rhythm for our next match.”
United States 3, Dominican Republic 0
The U.S. Men’s National Team started slow but picked up steam in a 25-19, 25-17, 25-9 victory over Dominican Republic. The U.S. led the Dominican in kills (39-26), blocks (10-4) and aces (9-0). Reid Priddy led all scorers with 15 points while Matt Anderson and Max Holt each finished with 10 points. For the Dominican team Henry Tapia finished with 10 points and the captain Wilfrido Hernandez chipped in with 8 tallies.
Cuba 3, Puerto Rico 1
Cuba defeated Puerto Rico in one of the classical battles of the Caribbean. The score was 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22) and Rolando Cepeda was the top scorer of the match with 26 points for the Cuban who have now a 2-0 win-loss mark. Along with Cepeda, who had 3 aces, Javier Ernesto Jiménez registered 16 points (2 aces) and Danger Quintana scored 10. On the Puerto Rican side, Sequiel Cruz made 14 points while Roberto Muñiz and the captain Enrique Escalante closed with 12 apiece.
Mexico 3, Guatemala 0
Mexico debuted with a victory over Guatemala in three sets (25-18, 25-14, 25-23). Mexican Daniel Vargas was the top scorer of the match with 13 points (3 aces), while Jesus Valdemar Valdes finished with 12 and Tomás Aguilera scored 11 for the winners. Jose Alfredo Gonzalez topped with 10 for Guatemala while Jeyson Nery recorded 8.