HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- The captain of Champion USA, setter Andrew Rowan, was named the Most Valuable Player and the best server of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup that concluded on Saturday night at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.
The two most outstanding in attacks, first Bryan Camino (Cuba) and Zachary Rama (United States), while the best in blocking were Martin Collao (Chile) and Marc Smith (United States).
Completing the honor role was Alejandro Miguel González (Cuba), the best scorer and best opposite; Logan Greves (Canada), the best receiver, as well as Axel Altamirano (Nicaragua), distinguished as the most outstanding defense and libero.
United States battled for the gold medal against Mexico and both teams earned the two tickets available for the 2023 World Championship, while Canada beat Cuba for the bronze.
Followed by Dominican Republic, Chile, Haiti, and Nicaragua.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- United States sealed their undefeated performance sweeping Mexico 25-19, 30-28 and 25-14 winning the Men’s U21 Pan American held at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.
The Americans didn’t give their rivals a chance with a steady performance, showing superiority win attacks (37-24), blocks (11-5) and serves (8-4), with five more errors (27-22) in one hour and 22-minute contest, between both teams that take home the two berths for the 2023 World Championship.
The only players scoring double digits were precisely from the champions, led by opposite Shane Wetzel, who scored 13. Outside hitter Zachary Rama added 12 and 10 by middle blocker Nyerovwome Omene.
Andy Read, United States veteran coach said “the second set was very hard, we were down and were able to recover, but the Mexicans were strong. I am happy and very proud of my team, that these 12 boys are pride of our country and represented it in this event and because it gives them the chance to play the 2023 World Championship”.
Libero Christopher Connelly expressed “it was a great match, we had a lot of fun, we gave all our energy and effort to win the gold medal; the event was incredible, very good, I liked the crowd, they gave all the energy that the tournament needed, and they inspired Mexico and Cuba”.
Mexican coach Jorge Alberto Romero explained “their performance was outstanding the entire tournament, we were expecting them to go one on one against United States, Canada or maybe Cuba, who I would’ve like to play against. The U.S. serves affected us, the reception wasn’t adequate, every effort was made. We must work in the psychological part and reception”.
Isai Castañeda, Mexican libero, said “we qualified to worlds, but our goal was set on winning the tournament and we have that bad feeling because we didn’t strive as much as we could have. We began lazy and we were like that the entire match, we tried to put pressure only during the second set, but we didn’t do our job well and in the third we committed too many errors, United States grew, they had more character than us and everything flowed more for them”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- Canada beat Cuba in exciting tie-break battle (13-25, 25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 15-12) and claimed the bronze medal at the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.
The North Americans finished with better number in attacks (48-38) and blocks (12-10), while the hosts dominated in serves (12-9) and committed more errors (36-31) in a match that lasted two hours and 14 minutes.
Outside hitter Sargent led all scorers with 26 points, followed by teammate middle blocker John Obi, who added 11. For Cuba, opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González scored 25 tallies and outside hitter Bryan Camino added 16; the only players with double digits from both teams.
Ben Josephson, head coach of Canada commented “playing a bronze medal match is hard because you are disappointed from semifinals, but these are two good teams that perform at a high level and today we played five sets. I think it was balanced, Cuba won the firs, we the second and third, and they recovered the fourth and evened the scores to reach a fifth”.
“I’m not happy because we didn’t qualify to worlds, but I am proud of the boys of how the battled yesterday and they did again today. I liked everything from this event, the fans were there all the time, both times against Cuba was challenging and both teams have good quality”.
Outside hitter Aaron Elser said “we knew we could win, and they did too, but we didn’t expect the way they started in the first set. Cuba is a solid team and we focused on blocking to stabilize the defense, and there’s no doubt that contributed to our victory”.
Cuban coach Jesús Cruz said “we came to play aware of how hard it would be, we did it with ups and downs, but we are still missing the final touch to finish with the opponent. This is good generation, we expect several players to be in the national team in four or five years, little by little they will have the level of play for it. We didn’t qualify for worlds, we didn’t win a medal, but it was an opportunity for these athletes to measure themselves”.
The most outstanding Cuban, Alejandro Miguel said “we lost against Canada because we were too confident, they weren’t physically well, technically yes, but we couldn’t recover, maybe hurt from yesterday’s match against United States. We are a good group of young players with good height, we must continue working and this tournament has shown me that I need to work a lot to reach my personal goal, I want to be the best volleyball player in the world, play with the national team and win world championships. I don’t want to be the best of the team; I want my team to win”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- Dominican Republic beat Chile in a match that extended to five sets (15-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 15-13) and finished fifth place at the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva.
The match lasted a little over two hours in which the South Americans attacked more (52-44) and led in serves (8-7), the Caribbeans pressured in blocks (12-7) and in the end finished best. Chile committed three errors less (36-39).
Dominicans most productive player was outside hitter Ronny Molina with 22 tallies, accompanied by Antonio Gomez with 15.
For the opponents Antar Derpich led all scorers with 25 points and Fuentes, also outside hitter, added 16.
José Dante Manon, Dominican coach considered that “with this fifth place it went well for the team we brought, young players with their first competition of the year, we didn’t have preparation matches, two players weren’t able to travel. Today they adjusted better in blocking and serving, that was the difference. A positive participation, the more games and sets they gain more experience and opportunities to perfection their actions. Important when you coach players who are so young”.
Captain Luther Rosario expressed how proud he is of his team, “the first time I’m captain and this is a great group. There are little details we need to work on. Chile is a difficult team, we always are challenged by them, but this time we were able to adjust our blocking better, serve more effectively and we still lack a bit in attacking, nevertheless, we did much better and that helped to victory”.
Iván Villarreal, head coach of Chile, said once again “we are in a process of development, giving opportunities for athletes to compete as much as we can at a national and international level, which we are doing. We must evaluate each players development, which is crucial to design and adjust, taking in consideration the greatest number of players with level to develop”.
17-year-old outside hitter Felipe Valenzuela, said “sixth place is bittersweet and unexpected, because we came with a reinforced team, and we could have done much more to win the games. I am leaving with a lot of f experience, it’s great to face opponents with level, a great experience for me, an under-19 player. I also think the Coliseum is spectacular, a warm and nice atmosphere”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- Haiti defeated Nicaragua 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18) and finished in seventh place of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup.
The Caribbeans were better in blocking (13-5), evened in serves (3-3) and were close in attacks (50-54), committing fewer errors (26-31).
Haitian opposite hitter Estakend Beauvoir led all scorers with 33 points, followed by his teammate outside hitter Seraphin Antoine, who added 15. For the opponents, two players also scored double digits, outside hitter Denis Espinoza (14) and middle blocker Rafael Hernández (13).
Junior Siecle, head coach of Haiti said “We thought we could have reached forth or fifth place, we couldn’t reach our goal, but now we are satisfied of not being in last. Today my players performed joyfully and with a little more efficiency. If we could have played like this at the beginning, we would have finished in the positions we desired”.
Captain Dieulengy Relis said “we consider this a final because we didn’t think we were going to play for seventh place, we always thought of a better position, fourth or fifth. Every match is different, but if we would have played like today we could have move forward in our results”.
Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua explained “we would have liked a better performance, I didn’t come with my starting players, only two middles and the setter are here. We needed to by the airplane tickets six months before and we are on vacation from January to April. But this has been a great and nice experience, playing against teams like Cuba and Canada is a privilege and my athletes are leaving with another mentality. This helps us to defend our U21 Central American title next week”.
Ángelo Guadamuz, 16-year-old middle blocker, said “it has been a great experience for us, most of us are under 19 years old, and for some it was their international debut in a national team at a Pan American level. This is another game level, it’s different from Central America and you learn a lot in performing”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 7, 2022.- United States defeated Cuba in the second semifinal also extended to five sets, with the qualification to the 2023 World Championship, and will face Mexico this Saturday for the Men’s U21 Pan American title, supported by the fans at Ciudad Deportiva.
Just like it happened in the challenge before won by Mexico to Canada, team USA dominated the first two sets (25-21 y 25-14), but the hosts reacted supported by the crowd and took the following (20-25 y 24-26) to even the scores of the exciting contest, nevertheless the visitors controlled their emotions better, committed less errors and deserved the win 15-12.
Five players scored double figures, led by Zachary Rama with 16 points and followed by outside hitter Noah Roberts, opposite Shane Wetzel, and middles Nyerovwome Omene and Marc Smith, all with 11 points.
Cuban outside hitter Bryan Camino led all scorers with 24 tallies, joined by opposite Alejandro Miguel González who added 16, they were the only ones with double digits.
The Americans led in blocks (15-8) and serves (8-6) and committed fewer errors (33-37), while the hosts scored two kills more (51-49).
Andy Read, head coach of United States said “two good teams faced each other in a five-set battle. In the first two we played very well, they did it better the next two, but in the end we won. Qualifying to Worlds means a lot to these athletes that couldn’t play it last year because of covid-19. The crowd elevated the game level and the players responded to that. I loved the atmosphere of the Hall. Tomorrow we will go out to give our all, I hope we come out good”.
Captain Andrew Rowan gladly said “it was a great match, and the crowd was marvelous, I couldn’t feel better. Cuba is a physical team, they blocked and attacked big. My team is great, I love them and qualifying to Worlds is incredible, it will be a process, but it’s incredible”.
Jesús Cruz, head coach of Cuba, said “we started with many deficiencies and the United States took advantage of it, they won the first two, but despite the number of errors in serves we turned the match around and we evened the score fighting strong. In the end the number of games we lack to balance at difficult moments weighs, our opponent supported the pressure better than us, in their technical performance you can see they are players in better shape. We came out to battle, we were close, now tomorrow we must fight for bronze”.
Setter Jonathan Mc Kentochi said “we began with many deficiencies, but we recovered in the third set and in the tie-break, anyone could have won or lose, United States did it better, but we have no doubts nor with a bad flavor that we didn’t put up a fight to win. Our fans supported us all the time, even if we were behind, they never gave up, they lifted us, that’s a good crowd, we immensely appreciate it. Tomorrow we are going for bronze against Canada”.
LA HABANA, Cuba 7 de octubre de 2022.- Mexico sensationally beat Canada 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13) advancing to the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup final with a ticket to the 2023 World Championship.
When everything seemed to be over in the third set with Mexico sealing the win, Canada killed the party for a moment with two lethal aces and dominated by far the fourth set.
Nevertheless, in a challenging tie-break Mexican player were more confident and celebrated big earning a ticket to the Worlds but aspiring to be on top here.
Canada held advantage in attacking (53-44) and serving (10-9), but committed more unforced errors (44-33), while Mexico controlled in blocking (11-8) in a match that lasted 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Leading all scorers was Canadian Cory Schoenherr (21), who alongside outside hitter Reeve Gingera (17) were the only players with double digits for Canada.
For the first semifinal winning team, the offense was led by middle blocker Leonardo Maldonado with 20 points, joined by also middle blocker Diego Esquivel (18) and opposite hitter Ángel Iván Domínguez (12).
Jorge Alberto Romero, head coach of Mexico expressed “I am very excited, but a bit frustrated because we lost the third set with only two points to win. We started the tie-break strong; we knew if we let Canada rise, we could never stop them, my boys understood, they played calmly”.
“Our strategy was making their receiving uncomfortable so they couldn’t play from the middle and that was overwhelming the entire match. We pressed with serves. I told them to live the tie-break like it was a final because we were playing for the qualification, I lowered my intensity to let them know that I trusted them”.
Outside hitter Leonardo Maldonado said “we started off well, strong, united, but we were overconfident, we lacked concentration in the third, we almost had it, but the best part is that in the end we won, and we are going to worlds. I am proud of my team, of their work and thankful with all that’s been done to be here and reach our main objective, the qualification”.
Ben Josephson, head coach of Canada said, “We committed too many errors, I am disappointed, we had three points for the win and qualify to the world championship and we couldn’t after tying the game”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 7, 2022.- Chile beat Nicaragua 3-1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-18) and will on Saturday will play for fifth place against Dominican Republic who beat Haiti 3-0, also on the penultimate day of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva.
After losing the first set, the South Americans adjusted their actions to succeed with advantages in attacks (49-36), blocks (9-5) and serves (8-4), and committing one more unforced error (30-29).
Its best men at the offense were opposite hitter Antar Derpich (16), leading scorer in the match, and outside hitters Rafael Fuentes (14) and Leonardo Menéndez (12). For the Central Americans, with double figures was opposite hitter Víctor Ariel Cruz (13) and outside hitter Denis Espinoza (11).
Iván Villarreal, head coach of Chile said “it’s always good to win under any circumstance, what’s ideal is to play well, win 3-0 and make it all a whole, but the game is very stable and emotional. These boys played yesterday two matches against two top teams Canada and Cuba, and that hurts a lot physically and mentally”.
“Today we faced an opponent who apparently could have been adorable, but they gave us a hard time in the beginning in our stability and lack of focus in a performance that needs to be more stable, and that is what we are looking for in these tournaments, give support to our players for their development and solid play”.
Captain Rafael Fuentes argued that “we had a rough time to start, I think it’s something that can happen, nevertheless we pulled the four sets. Our energy was low at the beginning, and we helped the opponent grow, but this game is over, we reached our goal of winning and now we need to think in tomorrow’s match against Dominican Republic”.
Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua, considered “our problem has been our height, and in the tournament the serves. Every time our opponents serve, they put us in trouble, they aren’t used to this kind of serves and the height of the players damages us. The first set was interesting. We lost, but we still are in the battle, we face Haiti once again and despite they won in pool-play, we are going to fight for not finishing last”.
Outside hitter Denis Espinoza said “it was a very difficult match, but it will help us a lot to grow as players and in the court with a good attitude and learn to follow our coach. It damaged us so much that our reception failed, and we couldn’t close well with attacks”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 7, 2022.- Dominican Republic won over Haiti in straight sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) to play for the fifth place of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cub on Saturday at Ciudad Deportiva in the country’s capital.
Dominican Republic sealed the serene match in 1 hour and 22 minutes, avoiding that their opponents’ fast actions could put things difficult and concluded with advantages in attacks (43-38) and blocks (12-3), both teams with serves (2-2) and committing more errors (22-18).
Outside hitter Ronny Molina stood out once again, leading all scorers with 22 points, followed by teammate opposite hitter Elixander Gómez who scored 15. For Haiti, their opposite hitter Estakend Beauvoir also stood out with 21 tallies, the only one with double figures.
José Dante Manon, Dominican head coach commented “Haitian boys have a lot of strength and jump a lot, but they are short, so we played high balls from the sides with my players using their height and they attacked over the block, and it worked out. Now we must prepare for tomorrows’ match against the winner between Nicaragua and Chile, for fifth place”.
Setter Fernelis Ramírez said “today we played more focused, we improved everything we think we have going wrong, like our blocking and we tried to press in that skill and reception, and balls that weren’t right we tried to improve them, we were paying more attention the entire match”.
Junior Siecle, head coach of Haiti, was sad for their setback “we know the Dominican team and I think we could have won; we are sad because we almost had the match in our hands, I feel disappointed. We have one match left, against Nicaragua or Chile, who ever we face we will battle strong to not finish last in the tournament”.
Captain Dieulengy Relis said “we feel disappointed because the match was practically in our hand, and winning was the possibility of playing for the fifth place, but we committed too many errors. Nevertheless, tomorrow we will battle for victory, we don’t want to be the last ones”.
HAVANA, Cuba, October 6, 2022.- Cuba topped Chile in straight sets 25-18, 25-15 and 25-19 to complete the semifinalists of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum, where the fans have been enjoying this generation of players.
The numbers show the hosts superiority with advantages in attacks (33-24), blocks (12-5) and serves (8-6). They committed less errors (17-22).
The Cuban offense was balanced among three men scoring double digits, they were opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González (12), outside hitter Bryan Camino (11) and middle blocker Jakdiel Contreras (10).
The only player on the South American side with double figures was opposite Antar Derpich with 10 points.
Jesús Cruz, head coach of Cuba said “after the loss against Canada we got together because this match was of great importance, and we came out with conviction. The boys were looser, further from the opponents’ level, and I gave everyone participation, I want them ready for tomorrow. United States, like Canada, no matter which generation, always bring good teams, they have an immense population to chose from, they play a lot in college and have a great level. We must only trust in our preparation and give our all on the court tomorrow”.
Tall player Jakdiel Contreras opinion “it was such a difficult game, but it was very important because it was decisive to reach the semifinal. Today we committed several errors, tomorrow we must play better. We are super happy because this victory was crucial”.
Iván Villarreal, head coach of Chile was sure to say “we faced a great opponent, for a moment we were able to perform, and we controlled them with blocking, occasions in which I believe we had more order during the game. Cuba has the virtue to keep you stressed with a high serve, you tie the score, and they score on three serves in a row, they score two or three points, and they keep a favorable distance from them. We faced a great team and I really hope they qualify for Worlds”.
Outside hitter Josué Ruiz, recognized that “Cuba is a powerful opponent, we could have given some more, I think it wasn’t our day, we came from losing to Mexico, whom against we also didn’t give much. Cuba has a good team y they deserved to win. We will continue to work to go further”.
Friday’s semifinals will be between Canada-Mexico and United States-Cuba. Classification matches for positions five to eight will be held previously.