Navas and Gonzalez of Puerto Rico take the Gold in Santa Marta

SANTA MARTA, Colombia, November 26, 2022.- Allanis Navas and María Gonzalez of Puerto Rico dominated the women’s gold medal match of the first Central American and Caribbean Games of Sea and Beach 2-0 (21-8, 21-9) over Cubans Amanda Armenteros and Jennifer Rivera.

From start to finish, Allanis and Maria controlled the actions against a timed Cuban team who couldn’t respond to the experienced Puerto Rican duo.

After winning the gold, Allanis said “we feel super proud, thankful for the opportunity to represent Puerto Rico once again and glad to give them happiness with a gold medal”.

Maria Gonzalez added “thankful for the crowd’s support, watching them on the stands, they were the third player that helped us to want this victory”.

Allanis Navas Puerto Rico spikes

Allanis and María have had a couple of weeks of victories at the 2022 NORCECA Tour, winning the gold in Hato Mayor and the silver in Cayman Islands.

In semifinals, Puerto Rico beat Abril Flores and Katherine Albarran of Mexico 2-0 (21-19, 21-11) in a challenging first set, but then in the second they jumped to a huge five-point advantage (10-5) which the Mexicans couldn’t catch up with.

Armenteros and Rivera (CUB) advanced to the gold medal match in a dramatic semifinal win of 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 20-18) against Venezuelans Luisana Linares and Yhonnielis Camacho. Linares and Camacho performed with great skills managing the game, but Armenteros and Rivera came out on top with strength over the net.

Flores and Albarran of Mexico won the bronze medal, with a comfortable 2-0 (21-8, 21-15) victory over Linares and Camacho of Venezuela.

Women’s Results Saturday

SEMIFINALS PUR d MEX 2-0 (21-19, 21-11); CUB d VEN 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 20-18)

SILVER MEDAL MEX d VEN 2-0 (21-8, 21-15); GOLD MEDAL PUR d CUB 2-0 (21-8, 21-9)

Cuba challenged by El Salvador in opening day at Santa Marta

SANTA MARTA, Colombia, November 23, 2022.- Cuban duo Amanda Armenteros and Jennifer Rivera were challenged by Gabriela Funes and Sofía Velásquez of El Salvador in a close 2-0 (27-25, 21-17) win on day one of the I Central American and Caribbean Sea and Beach Games in Santa Marta.

Amanda and Jennifer had communication difficulties in their pool C debut, but pocketed their first win, while Funes and Velásquez had an exciting first performance. Also in pool C, Britney Choon/Tsyan Selvon of Trinidad and Tobago beat Alexandria Ashman and Chevonna Lewis of Jamaica 2-0 (21-6, 21-18)

Hosts Ana Fernanda Beltrán and Vanessa Buenañoz, as well as Allanis Navas and María González of Puerto Rico, showed powerful performances in pool A. Beltrán and Buenaños overpowered Khrysti Rosa and Tia Kim Hughes the U.S. Virgin Islands 2-0 (21-7, 21-13) and Navas/Gonzalez defeated Suriname’s Shaniva and Sharon Balkaran 2-0 (21-8, 21-8).

In pool B, Dei Padmore and Serena Edwards of Barbados handled well Antigua and Barbuda of Jossanne Lewis and Nia Serena 2-0 (21-14, 21-10) and Venezuelans Luisana Linares and Yhonnielis Camacho managed a comfortable 2-0 (2-12, 21-14) victory over Kianny Arraya and Ximena Nuñez of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica

Mexicans Abril Flores and Katherine Albarrán celebrated opening pool D with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) victory against Alejandra Rosales and Nahima Silva of Nicaragua, followed by Chlouie Gaetosand and Deajra Tulloch of Cayman Islands winning 2-0 (21-18, 21-20) to Chenoa Evans and Clio Phillip of St. Lucia.

Pool-play will conclude on Thursday with sixteen matches; the winners of each pool advance into Friday’s quarterfinals, while second and third placed teams play the eight finals.

Wednesday’s Results Women

POOL A COL d ISV 2-0 (21-7, 21-13); PUR d SUR 2-0 (21-8, 21-8)

POOL B BAR d ANT 2-0 (21-14, 21-10); VEN d CRC 2-0 (21-12, 21-14)

POOL C CUB d ESA 2-0 (27-25, 21-17); TTO d JAM 2-0 (21-6, 21-18)

POOL D MEX d NCA 2-0 (21-14, 21-12); CAY d LCA 2-0 (21-18, 21-20)

Panama beat Costa Rica 3-0

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, October 23, 2022.- Panama beat Costa Rica 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-16) on day six of the XIX AFECAVOL Men’s U21 Central American Championship.

Panamá earned their third victory against two losses, reaching 14 points, to overcome Costa Rica who stands with 2-3, but with also 14 points.

David de León team captain of Panama ended with 17 points and Emanuel Pérez with 15, plus 11 by Víctor Pérez. For Costa Rica, captain Dowshel Smith had one of his lowest performances with 9 points.

Panama was better in attacks 46-23, in service 6-1, and Costa Rica led in blocking 5-4, committing 19 errors, against 11 from the winners.

Tournament Page

Panama celebrates beating Costa Rica

David de León, captain Panama: “Panama never gives up and always goes forward. An opponent so difficult like Costa Rica, with high leveled players, we did a good effort, focused because they are very strong. We are going forward and Panama has more”.

Emanuel Pérez, outstanding player of Panama: “Thank God the team came out with the result, we effort ourselves with all our heart, we wanted this victory, and we did. Now we are closer, we the possibility to win a medal, we have one more match and we hope to close well, strong and with Gods’ help”.

On Monday, Costa Rica faces El Salvador at 2:00 p.m, Honduras and Panamá play at 4:00 p.m.

Photo Gallery

ECVA Senior Female Competition to be fiercely Contested

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten, October 12th, 2022.- Seven teams are raring and ready to rumble to see would end up on the top of the heap at the end of the senior female ECVA volleyball competition on Sunday 16th October. Action starts this evening with three matches on tap.

The home team (St. Maarten) is confident that on Sunday’s final the crowd will see what home court advantage really means. In speaking to the press coach Leonardo Jeffers had this to say, “I have multiple reasons to be confident, we had an active season, the girls have been training for months, we have a very serious coaching staff, and the squad has experience and fresh talent so yes we are definitely planning to be in the finals”.

Coach Janzen Patrick of St. Eustatius believes that 2022 is the year his team will upset the status quo, “our girls have been training relentlessly for months, with one aim in mind, their focus is to do one better than the third place finish they had a few years ago. We are definitely going there with the aim of doing our best ever”.

Fitzroy Benjamin of Antigua was mindful to point out that the senior men won over St. Lucia in a similar competition and clearly stated that this is a signal of the changing of the guard; “we expect the same thing to happen in the females. In fact we have gone as far as to formulate a plan for the finals. This can be redounded to an overall improvement in volleyball in Antigua. The girls have had lots of preparation time and this is our moment”.

Saint Maarten preliminary inquiry

First time Coach Omari Hamilton of Anguilla was a little more conservative.  “This is my first time at this level and we have been preparing to show up not back down. Once we step on that court we are not backing down. We don’t expect to upset everybody but somebody, so lookout for us”, he warned.

Team BVI was not very optimistic. Coach Stephen Payne explained why, “this will be the first time competing since 2014. So, it’s a return to action for us. However, the girls showed a stark improvement in practice over the last several months and once this improvement manifests itself in the games it will spell trouble for the opponents”, he noted.

Grenadian coach Staciann Lake had some spice in her voice when she relayed her expectations, “our girls are hungry, they have fire within and are very talented, along with a determination to win are the perfect ingredients for winning the championship.  We have trained long and hard so in this tournament the crowd will get a good watch”.

Kendall Challery coach of the defending champs St. Lucia had the final say, “all of those teams coming to the competition know us very well. We intend to come as defending champs and leave as repeat champions.  This is based on the core of players that I have confidence in to deliver”.

Dominican Republic debuts with victory against Korea

Arnhem, The Netherlands, September 24, 2022.- The Dominican Republic began its participation in the Women’s Volleyball World Championship with a resounding victory against Korea.

The Caribbean Queens easily disposed of the Korean team in consecutive sets with a score of 25-19, 25-12, 25-15 in phase 1 of this competition. Dominican was better in attacks 42-32, in blocks 13-3 and in services 7-4.

The left-handed Gaila González was the most outstanding for The Queens with 17 points followed by Yonkaira Peña who added 11 units. For the Korean team, the best were Seonwoo Lee with 9 points and Jeongah Park with 7.

FIVB Women’s World Championship 2022

Puerto Rico falls to Belgium at the start of the Women’s World Cup

Arnhem, The Netherlands, September 24, 2022- The Puerto Rican team was defeated by Belgium in its first appearance in the Women’s World Championship.

The Belgians easily dominated the Puerto Ricans in straight sets with a score of 25-15, 27-25, 25-15 to score their first victory in the tournament.

Britt Herbots and Marlies Janssens led the Belgian attack with 25 and 14 points respectively. For Puerto Rico, the top scorers were Brittany Abercrombie with a total of 20 points and Stephanie Enright with 7.

FIVB Women’s World Championship 2022

Pan Am and Central American Games in stake at Women’s Pan Am Cup

HERMOSILLO, Sonora, Mexico, August 20, 2022.- The Women’s Pan American Cup is a qualification event for the Pan American Games and the Central American & Caribbean Games to be held in 2023 in Santiago and El Salvador respectively.

Excluding Dominican Republic and Mexico, who are already qualified for both multisport events, the highest-ranking team of NORCECA will qualify to the Santiago Pan American Games, while three vacancies will go to the highest-ranking teams among NORCECA and Colombia, for the El Salvador Central American & Caribbean Games.

Coaches of the participating teams gave their first impressions ahead of the event.

Carolyn O’Dwyer, Head Coach of Canada: “We’ve had a long training block, with a large group of this team, so we feel really ready for the competition and excited to play against some top teams.
For a lot of our athletes this will be their first international event and I am excited to see how they perform”.

Eduardo Niño, Second Coach of Colombia: “Our main goal is to qualify for the Central American and Caribbean Games. We have been preparing for over two months with professor Rizola in charge, also thinking about the World Championship, our most important competition this year. The team has been working hard and keeping active for all the Olympic cycle competitions”.

Pablo Acuña, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “The foundation of the team is the one from the Final Four, but we have other players which we want to observe. The team is excited and with desire to compete, we are in a hard group, but each match will be an experience for players and staff. It’s a great opportunity to plan ahead and be prepared for the Central American & Caribbean Games, which I have no doubt that Costa Rica can be there”.

Thomas Fernández Arteaga, Head Coach of Cuba: “This is a major competition for us because it’s a qualification event and our goal is to obtain that qualification; also, to finish in the best position possible to win the most ranking points possible and that will help us qualify later on. The team is going through a psychological hit because our setter couldn’t come (Greta Moreno) because of Covid, hoping she will come further in the competition. We are optimistic that Greta will recover”.

Marcos Kwiek, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “We brought some young players, some just made it to the senior team, it’s a good mix with our veteran players. Physically the team is not in good condition. We are aware of the importance of the Pan American Cup; it will be strong, and we hope to fight in the finals”.

Rafael Petry, Head Coach of Mexico: “The team is ready to compete, prepared for this strong competition, with opponents of great ambitions. We have new members of the team, to be part of the process of National teams and evaluate them”.

René Quintana, Head Coach of Nicaragua: “The team is here to take advantage of the competition, it is part of our preparation for the Central American Games coming soon in Guatemala. We acknowledge that the game level is above ours, but we will try that our opponents will work hard against us”.

Francisco Hervas, Head Coach of Peru: “Peru wants to make the most of this competition, it’s an interesting tournament with the opportunity to face teams that we usually don’t face. The team consists of experienced players and others that are moving up, it’s a balance to help us rebuild our team”.

Héctor Soto, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We usually have difficulties preparing our team when competitions take place in the summer because our professional league runs in this period, but at least the girls are in good physical condition, they have a good game level. We will try to determine our game style during the competition; basically, we are prepared”.

Bradley Rostratter, Head Coach of United States: “We had a great training block, three weeks to train alongside with the world championship training group and the preparation has gone really well for us. Some players have international experience, maybe 50% have played one or two international seasons, some even played VNL, we have a group of talented players”.

Mohammed excited to see volleyball return to CAZOVA

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, July 4, 2022 – Mushtaque Mohammed, president of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) says the regional sporting body is very excited about the restart of volleyball after two and a half years in the Caribbean.

Mohammed made this admission in confirming the staging of the CAZOVA Under-19 and 21 Championships at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Pleasantville, San Fernando from July 5 to 12.

Mohammed, said, “We decided to start in the youth and junior categories because those are the easier categories in terms of teams readiness while the senior tournaments will be held next year hopefully, and we are also hoping to have the Under-23s in December.”

The trio of the US Virgin Islands, Suriname, and T&T will contest the Under-21 Women’s Championship while the five-team Men’s Under-21 competition will feature T&T, Haiti, Suriname, US Virgin Islands, and Jamaica.

In the Under-19 age group, T&T, Suriname, Martinique, and US Virgin Islands women will face off while T&T and Suriname will contest the men.

The CAZOVA teams are competing to qualify for their respective NORCECA Continental Championship in 2023 which will serve as qualifiers for their FIVB Age Group Championship.

For the Under-19 category, the Under-19 Women’s Continental Championship is carded for February 5-13, 2023 in Puerto Rico with the World Championship set for July 2023 while the Under-19 Men’s Continental Championship comes off in Mexico from March 5-13, 2023 with the World Championship to be staged in August with the host country still to be determined.

In the Under-21 Division, the USA will host the NORCECA Under-21 Women’s Continental Championship from April 16 to 24, 2023 with the world event set for September in a country yet to be finalized while the Under-21 Men’s Continental competition comes off in Cuba from May 7-15 and the World Championship in September also at a venue yet to be named.

With regards to the small number of countries committing to the tournament, Mohammed noted that all the teams who are able to participate are really excited to come to T&T to play these events, but at the same time noted that some of the major powerhouses in the sport won’t be present.

“However, Barbados, who are among the defending champions in the youth and junior categories are not here,  and that has been a challenge as the Bahamas will not be here as well, and Jamaica will only have their Under-21 boys here.”  

A member of the T&T Olympic Committee Mohammed explained, “The challenges are not only limited to finances or readiness in terms of preparation and venue availability but also some of the countries cannot get flights to come to Trinidad because not all of the flights or airlines are operational at present so when we had more flights coming into Trinidad in the past, not all of these have started back operation since the lifting of restrictions brought about by the pandemic.”

“But, with what we have we are going to restart volleyball in CAZOVA and we are really excited that this tournament is going to take place and hopefully be something that we will all be proud of and be something that will re-stimulate volleyball in the Caribbean.”

“Additionally we are hoping to host for the first time in the region beach volleyball and so we are hoping that beach volleyball will also make a positive restart by the end of August, also right here in Trinidad, stated Mohammed, who is also an Executive vice president of the North, Central America and the Caribbean Volleyball Association (NORCECA).

With regard to the preparations for the double-gender tournament which will be the first to be staged by CAZOVA since the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, Daymian Stewart, president of the T&T Volleyball Federation (T&TVF) said they have been forced into a venue change.  

Stewart said, “Initially the T&TVF had hoped to have the tournament at the National Cycling Centre in Balmain, Couva, however, those plans had to be shelved due to the unavailability of the venue as repairs to the air-conditioning system at the Couva facility will not be completed in time to host the tournament.

Stewart added, “Basically we are just working on confirming the venue at Pleasantville as most of the other logistics are in place as well as finalising our transportation for the teams and officials and all personnel involved.

“The only challenge with Pleasantville is that janitorial services on the weekend and we have offered to make our own arrangements where that is concerned so that we can have a smooth flow of the competition,” stated Stewart.

The T&TVF boss added, “We need to do our part to provide positive activities for young people. It’s very hard but it’s worth it when young  Trinbagonians and Caribbean youth get opportunities via sport and this CAZOVA Youth and Junior event could not come at a better time coming out of the pandemic, “ended Stewart.

Participating Teams:

Under-21 Men: TTO, Haiti, Suriname, US Virgin Islands, Jamaica.

Under-21 Women: TTO, US Virgin Islands, Suriname

Under-19 Men: TTO, Suriname

Under-19 Women: TTO, Suriname, Martinique, US Virgin Islands