Argentina beats Mexico to reach U21 Pan Am Cup finals 

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 11, 2022.- Argentina beat Mexico 3-1 (26-24, 27-25, 28-30, 25-7) in Saturday’s semifinals to reach the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup final match at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

Argentina was challenged by a resistant home team up to the third set, when Mexico needed five-set points to keep their hopes alive. Argentina entirely dominated Mexico in the fourth set, leaving no doubt in their stunning finish.

Argentina faces the United States for the gold, they met earlier in pool-play play with the U.S. winning 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 27-25) to advance directly into semifinals to beat Chile. This will also be a rematch of the 2017 gold medal match won by the Americans. Argentina also fell in 2015 to Dominican Republic.

On the other hand, Mexico and Chile will battle for the bronze medal. This is the second occasion they meet for third place; Chile took the bronze in 2015. Mexico won the event in 2013 to Dominican Republic.

Argentina led 61-54 in attacks and prevailed by a huge margin in blocks (16-4) and aces (11-4); Mexico was the one with fewer errors (18-24).

Margaria Milena spikes (ARG) – Perea Gabriela, Cruz Ximena block (MEX)

Outside hitter Milena Margaria of Argentina scored a match-high of 20 points on 17 kills and three blocks. Middle blocker Avril Garcia and outside hitter Keila Llanos joined the party of points with 19 each; Garcia scoring the most blocks with a total of 7 points.

Outside hitter and team captain Aime Topete led Mexico with 16 points on 15 kills and one ace, followed by opposite hitter Katherine Ramirez with 14 points on 13 kills and one block. Outside hitter Alexandra Goris also contributed with 10 points.

Marcelo Silva, Head Coach of Argentina: “The first three sets were tremendous, it was very close, Mexico defended a lot, maybe they were tired in the last set, I never thought we could have won the fourth set with such a large margin. Now we need our girls to recover and study the United States to decide our game plan”.

Luis León, Head Coach of Mexico: “The first three sets could have gone to either one, they were very close. I believe the difference was Argentina’s level of play in the tournament, with more matches, with rhythm together (two matches more than us). Tomorrow we are going out to win third place”.

Merrit Beason elected MVP at Women’s U21 Pan American Cup

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 12, 2022.- Opposite hitter of the U.S. Merrit Beason was elected the Most Valuable Player “MVP” of the sixth edition of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup that concluded on Sunday at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

During the awarding ceremony, Merrit Beason was joined by other players who were recognized for their outstanding performance during the event, among them another gold medalist, Chloe Chicoine who was granted the 1st Best Spiker award.

From Argentina, runner up of the U21 Pan American Cup, Valentina Vaulet was awarded as the best opposite and best scorer, while Avril Garcia was selected as 1st best blocker.

Individual Awards Women’s U21 Pan American Cup

Cassandra Simental of Mexico, bronze medal winner, received three individual awards as best libero, receiver and digger. Also from Mexico, Regina Perez was granted the award for best setter.

The best 2nd blocker was Marcelle Baez of Puerto Rico and Canadian Madyson Saris was the 2nd best spiker and server.

Final Ranking: 1. United States; 2. Argentina; 3. Mexico; 4. Chile; 5. Cuba; 6. Puerto Rico; 7. Canada; 8. Dominican Republic; 9. Costa Rica; 10. Honduras.

United States claims Gold at Women’s U21 Pan American Cup

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 12, 2022.- United States claimed the gold medal of the sixth edition of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup over Argentina 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14) at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

United States finished undefeated with a 5-0 record. This is the second title for the United States in the history of the event, also beating Argentina in the 2017 edition. United States also qualified to the 2023 FIVB World Championship as one of the two top finishers from NORCECA.

Argentina ended with a 4-2 record (both losses to USA), winning their third silver medal (2015, 2017).

United States led 53-42 in attacks while Argentina held advantages in blocks (12-9) and points from serves (6-5). United States committed 21 errors and Argentina 30.

USA Gold Medal, Argentina Silver Medal, Mexico Bronze Medal

Opposite hitter Merritt Beason topped the U.S. scorers with 17 points on 14 kills and three blocks, joined by middle blockers Rebekah Allick and Breanna Kelley with 14 and 10 points respectively.

Argentina’s leading attacker was outside hitter Milena Margaria with 17 points and opposite hitter Valentina Vaulet added 13 points.

Daniel Fisher, Head Coach of United States: “We are really happy for the win. I think the girls were feeling a little tense for a while, but we worked through it and settled down in our reception. We also got some nice energy from players coming off the bench and ended the fourth set playing good volleyball. Argentina is very good and put a lot of stress on us with their serves, but that’s what good teams do”.

Rebekah Allick, Middle blocker of United States: “Going into the third set after losing the second, our minds were set on working hard, focus on the controllable and loving hard on each other because we are all so competitive, independent strong women that uplift one another. When I’m given the opportunity, I always take advantage, everyone gets their moments, I’m on a great team”.

Mexico downs Chile to win bronze at U21 Pan Am Cup

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 12, 2022.- Mexico downed Chile 3-0 (26-24, 25-11, 25-19) to win the bronze medal of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup on Saturday at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

Mexico snatched the first set from Chile, recovering from a four-point deficit 20-24 in a dramatic 26-24 finish and onward to dominate the next two sets. Mexico also beat Chile with a sweep in pool-play.

Besides winning bronze, Mexico qualified to the 2023 FIVB World Championship. The hosts finished third place with a 3-2 record; this is their second medal in the history of the event, they reached the podium winning gold in 2013. Chile in fourth place ends with 2-3 record.

Mexico held a 44-33 advantage in attacks and an overwhelming 10-2 margin in serves; both teams scored 6 points from blocks. Mexico limited their errors to 13 and scored on 16 points from Chilean errors.

Cantu Sara, Topete Aime blocks MEX – Schwartzman Petra spike CHI

Mexican team captain Aime Topete scored a match-high of 23 points on 19 kills, one block and three aces. The other player with double-figures was opposite hitter Katherine Cruz with 11 points on 7 kills, two points on blocks and two on serves.

Opposite hitter Petra Schwarzman led Chile with 15 points on 13 kills and two blocks.

Luis León, Head Coach of Mexico: “Both teams had their energy low after losing semifinals. This was our fifth match against Chile, we had three friendly matches and two here in the tournament, we know each other well, statistically, tendencies and trajectories, that’s why the first set was so close and that blew Chile away. We closed the competition well, we reached our goals, qualifying to worlds and reaching the podium”.

Aime Topete, Captain of Mexico: “We were focused in the first set, following our technical staff instructions and we gave our all. I believe that with more energy we can win the gold medal in next tournaments, we have the potential to do so. Now we must work and prepare for worlds”.

Cuba beats Puerto Rico in five sets to finish fifth

LA PAZ, Baja California, June 12, 2022.- Cuba finished the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup in fifth place beating Puerto Rico 3-2 (17-25, 25-15, 25-13, 18-25, 15-11) on Sunday at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

Cuba concluded the event with a 3-1 record and Puerto Rico with 1-3 for fifth and sixth position. Cuba also beat Puerto Rico in pool-play but in four sets.   

The Cuban team prevailed 60-56 in attacks, 8-7 in blocks and 6-4 in serves. Cuba committed 22 unforced errors and Puerto Rico 26.

Lisania Grafort spike CUB – Perez Janiangely, Flores Valeria blocks PUR

Cuban Outside hitter Hhitney James scored a match-high of 26 points on 22 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces, followed by outside hitter Claudia Tarin and middle blocker Lisania Grafort with 15 and 14 points respectively.

Outside hitter and team captain Valeria Flores led Puerto Rico with 21 points on 20 kills and one block, joined by middle blocker Mileidy Paret with 20 points on 16 kills, one block and 3 aces; and middle blocker Marcelle Baez added 10 points.

Rogelio Goytizolo, Head Coach of Cuba: “After losing the opportunity to qualify to finals, our athletes weren’t in their best shape; they went on improving during the match. Puerto Rico was highly motivated; we had some deficiencies in blocking and defense despite winning”.

José Rivera, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are glad, we gave our all. After winning the first set we were expecting their reaction, it was the same as in the past match. We told the players not to settle for only one set and keep pressing. We must continue working in the fundamentals of the game, we did well in blocking and offensively we were present”.

United States to play for Women’s U21 Pan American Cup title

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 11, 2022.- United States will play for the title of the sixth edition of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup after winning their semifinal match to Chile 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-9) at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

United States will battle for the gold against the winner of the second semifinal between the host Mexico and Argentina. The Americans had already won a berth to the 2023 FIVB World Championship as one of the top two finishers from NORCECA in the event with Chile beating Cuba in quarterfinals.

This the second time the U.S. plays for the title, the first time was in 2017 when they won the gold to Argentina.

The U.S. dominated Chile with superiority in every skill; attacks (43-18), serves (12-2) and blocks (9-4). United States limited their unforced errors to 9 and Chile to a total of 11.

USA attacks against Chile

Middle blocker Beanna Kelley led the Americans with 13 points on 9 kills, 3 blocks and one ace and outside hitter Mckenna Wucherer added 11 points from 7 kills, one block and three aces.

From Chile, outside hitter Dominga Aylwin scored 12 points from 11 kills and one block as their leading scorer.

Alexis Rodríguez, Captain of United States: “We went out with defensive intensity, we knew they were going to be a scrapy team, so we just stuck to that; also, we battled our serving-pass and won that as well. We’re ready for the title match, it will be exciting facing either one: with Mexico we will enjoy the atmosphere and with Argentina an interesting re-match”.

Eduardo Guillaume, Head Coach of Chile: “It’s hard to evaluate when you face an opponent that’s at a higher level than yours, they outplay us in all: height, strength, technique, positioning. We must bet on those teams at our same level of play and learn, improve and one day play like them (USA). Being among the four finalists is already a victory and if we reach the podium, it’ll be a plus”.

Canada finishes seventh place at Women’s U21 Pan Am Cup

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 11, 2022.- Canada beat Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-22) to finish seventh place at the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup at the Arena La Paz in Baja California Sur.

Canada with 3-2 record and three consecutive wins finishes seventh place in the event. Dominican Republic with an overall 1-3 record takes eighth place.

A late reaction from Dominican Republic in the third set coming close to recovering from a six- point deficit (15-21) might have extended the action, but Canada’s determination pulled off a straight set victory.

Canada’s offense in attacks ended with a huge 43-16 advantage as well as a comfortable 13-6 margin in points from serves. Canada committed 23 unforced errors against 12 from Dominican Republic. Both teams scored 7 points on blocks.

Cuevas Elsa spikes DOM – Wahlgren Viktoria, Pollock Jenna block CAN

Outside hitter Madyson Saris of Canada scored a match-high of 21 points, leading in aces with 6 points. Outside hitter and team captain Emoni Bush contributed with 15 points on 12 kills, one block and two aces, while Sullie Sundara picked up 12 points from 9 kills and 3 aces.

Setter Ariana Rodriguez and middle blocker Vallery Martinez led Dominican Republic with 6 points each.

Carolyn O’Dwyer, Head Coach of Canada: “We knew we were facing a strong team like Dominican Republic, but we did a good job executing our game plan, it was an awesome job from the athletes. Two things stood out, a good job from the service line putting a lot of pressure on them and getting them out of system, and we also did a good job attacking high and deep and challenging them in some difficult digs”.

Madyson Saris, Top scorer of Canada: “We prepared well for them, we saw lots of film and we did a good job putting what we watched into the game. Generally speaking, it was a great experience for everyone playing internationally”.

Costa Rica wins Central American clash to Honduras

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 11, 2022.- Costa Rica won the Central American clash to Honduras 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-17) for nineth place of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup at Arena La Paz in Baja California Sur.

Costa Rica finished the event with 1-4 win-loss record and Honduras with 0-4, for ninth and tenth place accordingly.

Costa Rica set their pace in the second set while having difficulties getting into rhythm in the first set to come out in straight sets.

Costa Rica dominated Honduras with a huge 43-25 advantage in attacks; they also were more effective in blocks (8-4) and serves (9-2) but committed more errors (23-15).

Torres Sofia spike CRC – Duran Dazly, Siliezar Shantte

Once again opposite hitter Angelica Rodriguez led Costa Rica’s offense scoring 16 points on 12 kills, 3 blocks and one ace, while outside hitter Nicole Mata added 11 points on 9 kills and two aces. Outside hitter Sofia Torres and middle blocker Dannia Leon chipped in with 7 points each.

Outside hitter Andrea Aceituno was Honduras leading scorer with 11 points on 10 kills and one ace.

Henry Rodríguez, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “We played one more match than Honduras, and they had a rest day, that’s why I think we had difficulties to get in rhythm. We had nice games for our team’s growth. I am satisfied with this result, it was expected. Before going in July to the Central American Championship in Belize, we must adjust, many things we practiced and didn’t do, and each player must self-correct”.

Marvin Ulloa, Head Coach of Honduras: “The players demand too much of themselves, our instructions are to go one step at a time, first execute well and then think about winning. There’s a combination of anxiety and errors before thinking in the actions of the game and playing well”.

Chile outplays Cuba and will clash with USA in semifinals

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 10, 2022.- Chile outplayed Cuba 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 27-25) and will clash with the United States in the semifinals of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup in Arena La Paz in Baja California Sur.

With Chile’s victory over Cuba, United States and Mexico won the two berths for the 2023 FIVB World Championship as the top two NORCECA finalists of the event.

Chile will face the United States in one of the semifinals, while Argentina meets Mexico in the other semifinal. Cuba will play Puerto Rico for fifth place, a rematch of pool-play won by Cuba.

In the third set, the South American team missed two match points in a dramatic finish before celebrating their win in straight sets.

Chile had a spectacular night outplaying Cuba in serves 9-5 and committing fewer errors (15-24). Cuba led 45-40 in attacks and finished with a slim 6-5 margin in blocks.

Tarin Basilia, Grafort Lisania blocks – Schwartzman Petra spike CHI

Outside hitter Florencia Giglio topped Chile with 15 points on 14 kills and one ace, Dominga Aylwin followed with 14 points on 10 kills, one block and three aces, while opposite hitter Petra Schwartzman tallied 10 points on 7 kills, one block and two aces.

Opposite hitter Yalain De La Peña led Cuba with 15 points on 10 kills, 2 blocks and 3 aces, accompanied by setter Beatriz Lopez with 11 points on 10 kills and one block, and by Lisania Grafort with 10 points on 9 kills and one block.

Eduardo Guillaume, Head Coach of Chile: “From the beginning I’ve been saying that I like my team, it’s a group of girls that work hard and today luckily things came out better. We are happy. Now we must prepare for what’s next”.

Rogelio Goytizolo, Head Coach of Cuba: “We met with an organized opponent in defense, they fought every single ball. On the contrary, we were erratic in blocking and defense, which caused us to lose the match to Chile. Our best pieces had a poor performance and provided little for our team’s success”.

Argentina dominated Puerto Rico to move into semifinals

LA PAZ, Baja California, June 10, 2022.- Argentina dominated Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-13) to move into the semifinals of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup being held at Arena La Paz in Baja California Sur.

Argentina (3-1) will play against the host Mexico in Saturday’s semifinals. Puerto Rico (1-2) will face the loser of the other quarter final match between Cuba and Chile.

The tournament qualifies the two top teams of NORCECA to the 2023 FIVB World Championship.

Argentina won their quarter final pushed by Puerto Rico only in the first set, then they went forward with no complications grabbing their semifinal spot.

The South Americans held a huge 42-19 advantage in attacks and a comfortable 8-3 margin in both blocks and aces. Puerto Rico committed fewer errors (17-20) than Argentina.

Aruga Julieta ARG sets

Opposite hitter Valentina Vaulet and middle blocker Avril Garcia scored 12 points apiece as Argentina’s leading scorers. Vaulet with 10 kills and two aces, and Garcia with 7 kills and 5 blocks. Outside hitter Milena Margaria added 9 points.

Outside hitter and team captain Valeria Flores led Puerto Rico with 8 points on 7 kills and one block, joined by outside hitter Grace Lopez with 6 points on 4 kills and 2 serves.

Victoria Caballero, Captain of Argentina: “We are always focused on our game, every match is intense and important. We were focused on our serves, putting in the ball at the firs and we played defensively as well”.

Valeria Flores, Capitana de Puerto Rico: “We lacked communication and energy, added to the fact that we are tired, but mostly we didn’t execute. They (Argentina) had more energy than us. Our expectation for our next performance is to win”.