NOGALES, Sonora, June 17, 2022.- Cuba beat Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-20) in the first match of the NORCECA Women’s Final Four Qualification Tournament on Friday at Nogales, Sonora.
Cuba held advantages in attacks (43-32), blocks (6-4) and serves (4-2). Cuba scored 22 points on Puerto Rico’s errors and handed out 17.
Middle blocker Dayana Martinez and outside hitter Claudia Tarin charted 11 points each in Cuba’s first victory; Martinez on 7 attacks, 3 blocks and one ace, while Tarin scored on 10 kills and one ace. Team captain Thainalien Castillo Leyva added 10 points.
Outside hitter and team captain Sofia Victoria led Puerto Rico with 10 points all on kills, joined by outside hitter Elaine Vazquez with 9 points.
On day two of competition, Cuba faces host Mexico and Puerto Rico goes up against Costa Rica.
Thainalien Castillo Leyva, Captain of Cuba: “We were strong, united, we battled as a team, and we hope to keep it up. We can’t loosen against any of our opponents, and we have practiced a lot to do so, we have physical condition and energy”.
Sofía Victoria, Captain of Puerto Rico: “Despite falling, we felt good, it’s our first time playing together. We are adjusting, we are the future of Puerto Rico. We hope to do better the next couple of days”.
Joel Olazabal, Head Coach of Cuba: “We believe our teams’ performance was good, it’s only the first match and despite knowing this isn’t Puerto Rico’s A team. Every player will compete. Tomorrow we’ll give a good spectacle against Mexico”.
Fernando Morales, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are aware we’re bringing a team with little experience and the errors were because of our lack of experience. I believe we played well for moments, but not an entire set. We will improve with each match; they have never played together and our rhythm will improve as well”.