LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 9, 2022.- Cuba won first place in pool A beating Dominican Republic in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-17) at the sixth edition of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.
Cuba with 2-0 record and 9 points sealed their way into the next round but will have to wait if it’ll be in the quarter finals or directly into semifinals after the result between United States and Argentina. The event qualifies two NORCECA teams to the 2023 FIVB World Championship.
Dominican Republic with 0-2 record will play classification matches for places 7-10.
Cuba topped Dominican Republic in every skill, with 36-28 margin in attacks, 10-4 in blocks and 7-5 in service points. Cuba finished with 20 unforced errors and Dominican Republic with 22.
With double-figures, once again middle blocker Lisania Grafort led Cuba with 15 points on 9 kills, 4 blocks and one ace, outside hitter Claudia Tarin followed with 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace, while outside hitter and team captain Thainalien Castillo contributed with 10 points on 7 kills and 3 aces.
Outside hitter Marcelly Perez and middle blocker Alanae Margaritha scored 8 points apiece on Dominican Republic’s side.
Thainalien Castillo, Captain of Cuba: “Our team unity was crucial, there was excellent communication, we fought together, we were strong minded in our actions. We were more secure today than yesterday. Our coaches’ instructions were to use our strength, for this is what we train for many hours”.
Crismely Rodriguez, Captain of Dominican Republic: “Despite giving our all on the court, the result wasn’t favorable. Cuba won because they played with more energy, I believe that the attitude.
Rogelio Goytizolo, Head Coach of Cuba: “The team never gave up, they played with lots of guts, there were ups and downs, but the girls are getting into a good dynamic. I think we can improve in blocking”.
Cristian Cruz, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “We have been training well, we had a good preparation, we have been working hard but without competition and it showed in our mind deficiency. The pressure blocked them; it didn’t let them develop their potential”.