Cuban Roamy Alonso selected MVP

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 17, 2022.- Cuban middle blocker Roamy Alonso was selected the Most Valuable Player MVP of the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six on Sunday night at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic Nayarit.

Roamy Alonso received the MVP recognition during the awarding ceremony after his team was crowned undefeated Champion over Canada.

The MVP award was handed to Alonso by legendary Mexican ex volleyball player Blanca Garcia and Jesus Perales, President of the Mexican Volleyball Federation.

Blanca Garcia, legendary Mexican player and Jesús Perales, president Mexican Federation, Roamy Alonso MVP

Alonso also received the award for second Best Blocker. Also from Cuba, Osniel Melgarejo was granted the awards for first Best Spiker and Best Server, Adrian Goide as the Best Setter and Jesus Herera the Best Opposite hitter.

Mexicans Mauro Fuentes and Axel Tellez were the second Best Spiker and first Best Blocker respectively.

Canadian Jordan Pereira was the Best Digger and Best Libero, and Mason Briggs of the United States the Best Receiver.

Henry Tapia of the Dominican Republic was awarded as the Best Scorer of the event.

Cuba is the undefeated Pan American NORCECA Final Six Champion

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 17, 2022.- Cuba was crowned undefeated champion of the Men’s Pan American Cup Norceca Final Six beating Canada 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) on Sunday at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

Cuba concluded the event with a perfect 7-0 record winning the gold medal over Canada who ended with a 5-2 record; Canada’s two losses were against Cuba.

The first set was led by Canada up to point 14 until Cuba managed to dominate. Cuba missed 3-match points (24-20) before celebrating their championship win; Simon Robertlandy scored the last point from a powerful spike.

Cuba prevailed by a 37-32 margin in attacks and 8-4 in blocks, Canada held an 6-5 advantage in serves. Cuba committed 23 errors and Canada totaled 25.

Outside hitter Miguel Angel Lopez topped Cuba with 13 points on 12 kills and one block, and opposite hitter Jesus Herrera collected 14 points on 9 attacks, 2 blocks and 3 points from serves. Middle blocker Simon Robertlandy added 9 points.

Canada Silver Medal Pan American Cup Final Six

Two players also led Canada with double-digits, outside hitter Brandon Koppers with 11 points on 8 kills and 3 aces, and opposite hitter Jordan Canham contributed with 10 points on 6 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces.

Jesús Herrera, Opposite of Cuba: “For me and the entire Cuban team it’s the best there can be, and for those who support us far away. It is of great satisfaction because we showed we are well, we are making players, everyone is giving their talent. We showed what we know how to do. Cubans are Warriors, we don’t like to lose, and we always give our maximum effort. All the members of the team are experienced and great players”.

Brandon Koppers, Top scorer of Canada: “I am very proud of all the guys in our team, we have a very young team, and we showed some real guts out there. This is a great defensive team, we did very well and proved what we are made of. We take every point as experience, we are preparing for the Pan American Cup in August back in Canada, so for some of our younger guys it was a great experience. The tournament was amazing”.

United States captures the Pan Am Final Six Bronze

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 17, 2022.- The United States captured the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six bronze medal defeating Puerto Rico 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 25-23) on Sunday at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

The United States finished third place with a 4-3 win-loss record. This is the U.S. second consecutive bronze medal at the Final Six event. Puerto Rico, in fourth place, closed with a 2-5 record. The U.S. also beat Puerto Rico in straight sets in the preliminary round.

The U.S. led 47-37 in attacks and 7-5 in blocks, both teams scored one point from serves, while they committed 27 unforced errors against 22 from Puerto Rico.

Four Americans finished with double-figures, led by outside hitter Brett Wildman who scored 14 points on 13 kills and one block, outside hitter Kyle McCauley with 13 points from 12 kills and one block, middle blocker Nyerovwome Omene tallied 11 points on 7 kills, 3 blocks and one ace, and opposite hitter Francesco Sani with 10 points.

United States Bronze Medal at Pan American Cup Final Six

Puerto Rico’s offense was led by outside hitter Pelegrin Vargas with 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace, followed by opposite hitter Gregory Torres with 10 points all on kills.

Merrick McHenry, Middle blocker of United States: “This was a super long tournament; it was so fun. I love my team and coaches; they are the guys I get to work every day. We had a great tournament. It was a very high level tournament, I think we all got better, and it will definitely help us for the future, just to play competitive teams and good volleyball. We play a little bit older than we are, most of us are still in school, in the university and this is a great experience for us youngsters”.

Andy Read, Head Coach of United States: “To go home with a medal and to play that hard it validates all the hard work these young men do. This group is working for the future, this is not the finish line for them, it’s way ahead of us. We played better and better even though we lost to Canada in semifinals”.

Cuba to face Canada for the Pan Am Cup Final Six title

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 16, 2022.- Cuba won their semifinal match to Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-16) and will face Canada for the Men’s Pan American NORCECA Final Six title at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

Cuba will face Canada who earlier defeated the United States in the other semifinal in five exciting sets. Puerto Rico will play for the bronze medal against the United States. Both matches are happening on Sunday.

Cuba came from a four-point deficit (14-18) in the first set, keeping Puerto Rico on the edge to get the lead. The next two sets Cuba’s offense inhibited Puerto Rico to perform like they did in the beginning.

Cuba controlled every element of the game, with a 39-25 advantage in kills, 8-7 in blocks and 7-4 in service points. Cuba committed one less error than Puerto Rico (20-21).

Cuba’s offense was topped by outside hitter Osniel Mergarejo with 13 points on 6 kills, 2 blocks and the most aces with 5 points. Opposite hitter Jesus Herrera scored 11 points on 10 kills and one ace, accompanied by outside hitter Julio Cardenas and middle blocker Simon Robertlandy who added 9 and 8 points respectively.

Outside hitters Klistan Lawrence and Pedro Molina tallied 7 points each led Puerto Rico.

Outside hitter Cuban Osniel Mergarejo celebrates scoring against Canada

Julio Cesar Cardenas, Outside hitter of Cuba: “We know each other well with Puerto Rico and that’s why the first set was demanding, sometimes it’s difficult to get organized and we were a bit relaxed. We had to play stronger to cause the difficulties. We’ve been together for a short time; we are playing in international leagues and this tournament has served as an adjustment and move forward. Against Canada, if we do our offense and defense, I believe we can win the title, it will be exciting”.

Arnel Cabrera, Libero of Puerto Rico: “The team’s missing a bit of experience and managing the game mentally, which is important in every sport. After losing the first set we lost concentration in the rest of the match. Tomorrow against the United States for third place we must erase this match, keep healthy because it’s been a demanding tournament, try to mentalize and study our strategy”.

Nicolas Vives, Head Coach of Cuba: “Puerto Rico is an excellent team. In the first set we were a bit relaxed, the guys got into better rhythm, and we closed the next sets. The victory is what’s important. Now we must play well, play tactically, and do the best possible to discuss the championship against Canada; historically they’ve been a good team, may the best one win”.

Canada beats USA in five-sets to play for the Pan Am Cup Final Six title

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 16, 2022.- Canada beat the United States 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-9) to play for the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six title at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

This is the second title match in a row for Canada, in last year’s edition of the Pan Am Final Six they won the silver medal falling to Mexico and the United States won the bronze over the Dominican Republic.

Canada will face the winner of the other semifinal between Cuba and Puerto Rico.

This was the second occasion in the event that Canada beat the United States, but in straight sets in their first outing.

The roller coaster semifinal match was led by Canada on a 59-45 advantage in kills and 5-2 in serves. The U.S. led in blocks with a 10-6 margin and committed fewer errors than Canada (36-44).

Opposite hitter Jordan Canham topped Canada with 19 points on 18 kills and one ace, while outside hitters Brandon Koppers and Logan House registered 18 and 10 points respectively.

From the United States, opposite hitter Francesco Sani scored a match-high of 20 points on 19 kills and one ace, followed by outside hitter Brett Wildman with 11 points.

Canadian Luke Herr (21) sets Xander Ketrzinsky (14)

Jordan Canham, Top scorer of Canada: “It’s so crazy, it´s always a dream to grow up and make it to this kind of team; to be able to play the best volleyball against some of the best teams is super surreal and then coming out with a win to reach the finals, it’s amazing. In the title match I would really like a rematch against Cuba”.

Francesco Sani, Top scorer of United States: “It was a great match from both teams, I think they got a little more serving pressure than us and that’s why they one the game, in the stretch we had a couple of receiving errors and missed serves, but I feel really good about our team and we’re ready to play tomorrow”.

Nathan Groenveld, Aisstant Coach of Canada: “We knew it was going to be really close and to win had to win the pass-battle, we weren’t winning it up to the fifth it started to come alive, we knew it was there. Both teams run well in the middle and the corner with the pipes. It was an incredible match, with a couple of great plays from the base line”.

Andy Read, Head Coach of United States: “It hurts, I feel for my guys, we lost to a very good Canada team, we both played what we are capable of, and we came off a little short. Tomorrow, we want to get the bronze, we want to go back home to show that we are a very good team and that would define it”.

Mexico finishes fifth over Dominican Republic

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 16, 2022.- Mexico finished in fifth place at the Men’s NORCECA Final Six Pan American Cup defeating the Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24 ) on Saturday at the Amado Nervo Auditorium in Tepic, Nayarit.

Host Mexico finished the event with a 2-4 record and the Dominican Republic with 0-6; Mexico also defeated the Dominican Republic in four sets in the preliminary round.

Mexico held a comfortable 55-49 advantage in spikes and a 6-3 margin in aces. The Dominicans finished with one more point in blocking (8-7). Mexico scored 29 points from Dominican errors and conceded 27.

Corner hitter Mauro Fuentes led the Mexican offense with 22 points from 19 kills, one block and two aces, followed by opposite player Luis Hernandez with 13 points from 12 kills and one block. Also with double digits were attacker Josué López and center back Jonathan Martínez with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Leading the Dominicans was opposite player and team captain Henry Tapia with 22 points from 17 kills, 3 blocks and 2 aces, outside hitter Wilfredo Hernández with 17 points from 14 kills, 2 blocks and an ace, and outside hitter Héctor Cruz contributed with 14 points from 13 attacks and one block.

Dominican Henry Tapia against Mexican block of Axel Tellez (9) and Mauro Fuentes (12)

Mauro Fuentes, Mexico’s Top Scorer: “Realistically, the competition was tough, we finished fifth out of six teams. We leave with a good taste in our mouths because we closed with a victory, but we have to put our feet on the ground because we need to work hard to face the teams that were superior to us. This has been a great learning for our preparation for the world championship in Poland.”

Henry Tapia, Captain of the Dominican Republic: “We are sad because we couldn’t reach the result we were looking for. The tournament contributes to our growth, the more we compete, the more we improve”.

Mavis Guilarte, Cuban volleyball star, supporting NORCECA Final Six 

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 16, 2022.- Mavis Guilarte Fernandez, Cuban volleyball star, resides in Tepic contributing to the development of sports in Nayarit, has been supporting and enjoying the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six being played at the Amado Nervo Auditorium.   

Mavis, ex member of the legendary team “Morenas del Caribe”, Olympic Gold Medalist in 1971 and 1975, as well as Pan American Gold of the 1979 Games in Puerto Rico, explains that this is an opportunity for the youth of Nayarit and Mexican athletes. 

“Bringing such an important international event of great transcendence motivates young players who want to practice highly competitive volleyball,” said Mavis; “I want to thank the State’s sport authorities of Nayarit to show our young community the beauty of volleyball” she added. 

With her charisma and sixteen years of trajectory representing Cuba, that among other achievements, she was member of the first Latin American women volleyball team to win a World Championship in 1978 in the extinct Soviet Union, came to Nayarit twenty years ago as part of a joint agreement between Cuba and Mexico. 

“In 1992, came in a group of 156 Cuban sport experts in methodology, medicine and coaching to contribute to the development of sport in this beautiful country; with my experience and knowledge have served to motivate a new generation of athletes of the State of Nayarit” she expressed. 

Thanks to Mavis Guilarte’s great work during that agreement, she returned to Nayarit to coach the women’s volleyball team that has been national champion. 

Mavis also explained that volleyball continues to be a sport with distinctive characteristics, over time it has evolved into a great attraction, more competitive and of great difficulty that makes it unique. 

“There are new rules since I played, for example, every action is a point and it’s faster, but it continues to be very technical and tactic” she added. 

In her trajectory as a coach, she has been coach of the Mexican national team and of Nayarit, “I have lived the evolution of volleyball and now I can observe that every team has searched for players to be more specialized, with physical traits to perform a specific game position, which contributes for teams to be more competitive”. 

Mavis left a message to volleyball athletes, “this is a demanding sport, it teaches to play as a team, for each one to contribute individually to benefit the team and mostly it’s a family sport that promotes human beings to serve their societies”.

Cuba tops the preliminary round undefeated

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 15, 2022.- Cuba topped the preliminary round undefeated winning their last match to Mexico 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-22) at the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six on Friday night at the Amando Nervo Auditorium in Tepic, Nayarit.

Cuba finished first place with 5-0 record and 22 points, they will face Puerto Rico in the semifinals who finished fourth. The other semifinal is a North American battle between Canada and the United States, second and third place respectively.

Mexico with a 1-4 record will play Dominican Republic for fifth place.

Mexico suffered the loss of one of its key players, opposite hitter Diego Gonzalez, early in the first set, who was injured falling while defending over the net.

Cuba beat Mexico on 36-25 advantage in attacks and a 7-1 margin in aces. Mexico led 7-6 in blocks and committed one less unforced error than Cuba (26-27).

Opposite hitter Jesus Herrera tallied 16 points for Cuba, on 13 kills, one block and two aces, joined by outside hitter Osniel Mergarejo with 14 points on 11 kills, one block and two aces.

Mexico’s top scorer was outside hitter Mauro Fuentes with 8 points all on kills.

Miguel Angel Lopez (18) of Cuba attacks against Mexico

Simon Robertlandy, Middle blocker of Cuba: “We are preparing for the competition in Korea, so this is good preparation, we are trying to perform the best way possible, limiting our errors, we still have deficiencies, we can improve more. Tomorrow against Puerto Rico we will try to reach the final and win the tournament, that will give us confidence and positivity to go to Korea, but we are taking one step at a time. It’s not about being the strongest team, but to have confidence and consistency while playing; I believe the United States and Canada are also strong, the final will be complicated for whoever reaches it”.

Pedro Rangel, Captain of Mexico: “We still have one more match. I am happy with our performance because we have faced powerful opponents, we are eager to play and try to win. The tournament has been a great learning experience for Worlds that is soon. We played one on one against Cuba; the sets were close. The youth in our team came out strong and they are on the right track”.

Nicolás Vives, Head Coach of Cuba: “This Cup has been good, the teams are well prepared; we are working our machinery slowly for the other important international events for us, the Challenger that’s coming soon and that could give us a ticket to the VNL. Mexico a well prepared, there’s a lot of adrenaline between us, we tried to stabilize our game, there are things to improve and what matters is the victory. We are prepared to face any opponent, tomorrow we go up against Puerto Rico and we are going to think about them for now”.

United States locks semifinal spot at Pan Am Cup NORCECA Final Six

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 15, 2022.- United States locked their semifinal spot at the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six beating Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-20) at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

The U.S. concluded the preliminary round with a 3-2 record and 17 points, finishing in third place making their way in the semifinal round where they’ll face Canada who ended in second place. Canada beat the United States in straight sets in their first match of the event.

Dominican Republic ends with 0-5 record and will play for fifth position.

The United States held an overwhelming 40-25 advantage in attacks, the also led with comfortable margins in blocks (6-1) and serves (8-1). Both teams committed a similar number of errors, the U.S. with 22 and Dominican Republic with 21.

Opposite hitter Francesco Sani of the United States scored a match-high of 15 points on 11 kills and 4 aces, followed by middle blocker Austin Wilmot with 10 points on 7 kills and 3 blocks.

Once again Henry Tapia led Dominican Republic with 11 points all on kills.

Brett Wildman (24) of USA attacks against Dominican Republic

Mathew West, Captain of United States: “We started with two defeats and now we are in the semifinals, for all of us it’s our first tournament together so we needed to get into rhythm as a team. Today the coach used a different line-up to rest some players, which is good for us, so everyone improves their level. Can we win the gold, yes, in this tournament everything is possible”.

Dawilin Méndez, Middle blocker of Dominican Republic: “We must commit less errors, some technical aspects that are easy to execute aren’t working out and that’s why matches get complicated. We are a young team, only four are veterans that support us to go on the path of good volleyball. These tournaments give us a lot of level”

Andy Read, Head Coach of United States: “At the beginning both teams were trying to find their rhythm playing, we found it first. We had a lot of guys come in, everyone played it great, so for tomorrow we have all fourteen guys ready to play and begin the play-offs. For the semifinals I hope our best volleyball in the tournament so far; it’s going to be a very good match for both of us (Canada)”.

Canada moves into Pan Am Cup NORCECA Final Six semifinals

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 15, 2022.- Canada moved into the semifinals of the Men’s Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six after defeating Puerto Rico in straight sets 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-23) on Friday at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

Canada ends the preliminary round with a 4-1 record and 19 points finishing among the top four in the event. Puerto Rico with 2-3 record and 7 points waits for the days’ results to confirm their semifinal spot.

Puerto Rico´s effort in leading the third set up to point 14 wasn’t enough to stop Canada’s offense who finished with a huge 41-27 advantage in attacks. They also were more effective in blocks by a comfortable 9-4 margin and a 4-0 lead in serves.

From Canada’s side, opposite hitter Jordan Canham led all scorers with 15 points, followed by outside hitter Logan House with 11 points and middle blocker Xander Ketrzynski with 10 points who led in blocks with 4 points.

Outside hitters Klistan Lawrence and Pedro Molina led Puerto Rico with 9 and 8 points respectively.

Max Elgert (13) of Canada setting vs Puerto Rico at Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six

Xander Ketrzynski, Top blocker of Canada: “We used our strengths as a team to push forward. For this weekend you can say it’s a normal day in the job in these tournaments, a lot of the guys are very experienced and played for team Canada for a while, so it’s going to be the same, either you win, or you lose giving the best and whatever happens you just gotta leave it on the court. I believe there are big things to come for this team, we’ve been working our system and we are looking forward to the semifinals and finals”.

Nathan Groenveld, Assistant Coach of Canada: “We had the goal making the semifinals so we’re really excited that we locked that in place right now. The bigger goal was to play better and better every match and we feel we have done that; and today when we side-out it was awesome. We’ll go on work on our block-defense to be ready for tomorrow. Regardless of our opponent, we have to keep on improving, it’s going to be on our side of the net, so we gotta make sure about it”.