Canada Score Second Win at NORCECA U21

NOGALES, Mexico, June 12, 2024. – Canada scored their second victory in the U21 Men’s NORCECA Championship after defeating Guatemala 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-17) on Wednesday in Nogales, Mexico.

Canada has a 2-0 record in pool B and will conclude the preliminary round on Thursday against Cuba. Guatemala (0-2) will face Puerto Rico.

Canada outperformed Guatemala 44-30 in attacks, 12-1 in blocks, and 2-1 in aces. Guatemala committed fewer errors than Canada (18-28).

Canada celebrated

Canadian opposite hitter Daniil Hershtynovich led his team with 12 points from 8 attacks, 3 blocks, and one ace. Outside hitter Piers de Greeff added 11 points from 9 attacks and 2 blocks. Kai Boyko finished with 7 points.

Guatemala’s team captain, Roberto Recinos, scored 12 points, with a match-high of 11 attacks and one block. Opposite hitter Luis Mendizábal contributed 7 points.

Captain Roberto Recinos GUA attack

Canada’s errors worked to Guatemala’s advantage, allowing them to steal a set point before the extended finish in the first set. Canada remained inconsistent throughout the match but managed to capitalize on their blocking.

Daniil Hershtynovich, Canada’s leading scorer said: “It was a challenging first set. I think not having fans on the stands it took time for us to create energy for ourselves. That energy helped us to pull out of the first and second set. For tomorrow we want to bring great energy against, keep the same mentality no matter who we’re facing”.

Luis Mendizábal, Guatemala’s opposite hitter, said: “I believe the team’s attitude didn’t stay consistent throughout the match. In the first set, we were closer in the score, it was tight, and we had very good energy. For tomorrow’s pool-play final, I hope we can bring the same energy as yesterday. We have the team to compete, and we’re going to give it our all against Puerto Rico”.

Teams Ready for the First Central American Women’s Final Four Title

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, July 12, 2024. – The Jorge Galeano Gymnasium will host the inaugural Central American Women’s Final Four Championship, taking place from June 13 to 15.

The event kicked off with the preliminary interviews and registration of the four participating national teams (Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador).

Both the organizing committee and members of the control committee are thrilled to host this first tournament, which brings together the top four teams in the region.

The four coaches expressed their satisfaction with the tournament, as it offers senior teams an annual competitive event. This Final Four will be held every two years, alternating with the Central American Senior Championships, which are also biennial.

AFECAVOL FINAL FOUR FEMENINO

Carlos Quezada, coach of Costa Rica, commented, “It’s a great opportunity to keep our senior teams competitive. I believe all the teams are quite evenly matched. We have prepared well, coming from the NORCECA Final Four, and for us, it’s imperative to aim for the top spot. We are here with the mindset of winning the tournament”.

Costa Rica

Japanese Marcos Sugiyama, coach of Honduras, stated, “t’s a very challenging competition for us because we are striving to reach a high level. We have trained extensively to perform well and win the title”.

Honduras

René Quintana, coach of Nicaragua, remarked, “This tournament is a first experiment by AFECAVOL. We hope this format continues so that our teams have events to participate in every year, whether even or odd years. Nicaragua always arrives as well-prepared as possible. We have some absences because a few players couldn’t make the trip, but we are committed to making a strong showing”.

Nicaragua

Noe Fabian, coach of El Salvador, said, “This tournament is very beneficial for our AFECAVOL competition because it keeps the senior teams active every year. Last year, we finished fourth in the Central American Championship, and this year we made a significant generational shift in our team. We are bringing a very young team, possibly the youngest senior team El Salvador has had since 2014, and we want to build confidence and gain experience”.

El Salvador

Dominican Republic Defeats Germany

June 11, 2024 .- Dominican Republic defeated Germany 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21) in the first match of Week 3 of the Volleyball Nations League in Hong Kong, China.

The Dominican Republic currently sits in 11th place with a record of 3-6. Their next opponent will be Turkey, the reigning VNL champions.

Dominican Republic had a slight edge in attacks (52-51) and conceded fewer points from  errors (21-26). Both teams were even in blocks (11-11) and aces (8-8).

The Dominican offense was led by its two outside hitters, Yonkaira Peña and Madeline Guillen. Peña scored 18 points, and Guillen added 16 points. Opposite hitter Alondra Tapia contributed 15 points.

Middle blocker Camilla Weitzel led Germany with 18 points, and opposite Emilia Weske scored 15 points.

Thompson Paces U.S. Women to Sweep of France

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 11, 2024. – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened week 3 of the Volleyball Nations League preliminary round with a sweep (25-15, 26-24, 25-20) of France on Tuesday in Fukuoka, Japan.

The U.S. Women (5-4) will continue week 3 at 8 p.m. on Wednesday when they will play Netherlands (5-4). The U.S. is in seventh place in the standings and the top seven teams plus host Thailand advance to the Final Round on June 20-23.

U.S. opposite Jordan Thompson led all scorers against France with 20 points on a match-high 17 kills (.371 hitting efficiency), two aces and one block.

“I was really proud with how we stuck together as a team,” Thompson told Volleyball World. “We could obviously play more clean, but I was really happy we could win in three.”

The U.S. Women led France in kills (46-38) and aces (7-3). The U.S. scored 20 points on France’s errors and committed 12. France led in blocks (6-3).

After finishing the first set with eight errors, France cleaned up its play in the second set and led 18-16. The U.S. used a Thompson kill and ace from Larson to tie the score. At 20-20, the U.S. scored twice on a kill from Carlini and an attack from Thompson, but the teams were tied again at 23-23. The U.S. called timeout and France followed with a service error that gave the U.S. set point. A U.S. service error tied it at 24. Kills from Larson and Carlini gave the U.S. the set win.

The third set stayed close until the U.S. used a service run by Thompson to increase its lead from 7-6 to 10-6 and rolled to the match win.

Mexico Off to a Great Start at NORCECA U21 

NOGALES, Mexico, June 11, 2024 – Mexico started off the NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship with a straight-set victory, 25-21, 25-16, 25-14, over Suriname on Tuesday in Nogales, Mexico.

Mexico’s (1-0) next opponent in pool A is Nicaragua (0-1). Suriname (0-1) will face the United States (1-0).

The host team, Mexico, dominated in every skill of the game; they had a significant lead in blocks (12-5), attacks (38-25), and aces (5-1). Both teams were tied in errors (20-20).

Mexico celebrate

Mexican opposite hitter Cristian Cadena led all scorers of the match with 13 points (11 attacks, 2 blocks, one ace). Outside hitter Samuel Valdes scored 9 points.

Suriname’s team captain, Anfernee Lee, finished with 9 points.

Mexico started slowly but gained momentum, managing to contain Suriname starting in the second set. In the first set, the teams were tied at 14 points and matched in all game aspects (12 attacks, 4 blocks, 1 ace). In the third set, Mexico quickly jumped to an eight-point lead (10-8), comfortably sealing their first victory.

Meson Anakaba SUR

Bladimir Rivera, captain of Mexico, said: “We started a bit nervous due to our international debut. We adapted well to the environment, improved as the match progressed, and managed to overcome Suriname’s height advantage (in that aspect, they handled it very well). I believe our greatest strength is our counterattack; when they give us a free ball, we don’t hesitate to hit hard and go for the direct point.”

Anfernee Lee, captain of Suriname said: “Mexico is a very good team. At the beginning of the match, we were doing our best and they proved they are a better team. We had some good points. I think generally speaking we have to get climatized to the court and work a lot in the morning practice”.

Canada Swept Puerto Rico to start U21 NORCECA

NOGALES, Mexico, June 11, 2024. – Canada swept Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-13) in their pool B debut at the NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship, which began on Tuesday in Nogales, Mexico.

Canada (1-0) will face Guatemala (0-1) on the second day of competition. Puerto Rico (0-1) will go up against Cuba (1-0).

Canada finished their first match with a huge advantage in blocks (10-1). They also led in attacks (34-30), scored one more point from serves (5-4), and conceded fewer points on  errors (20-26).

Piers de Greeff CAN

Outside hitter Piers De Greeff was Canada’s top scorer with 14 points (12 attacks, 2 blocks). Opposite Daniil Hershtynovich recorded 13 points (12 attacks, 1 service ace).

Puerto Rico’s team captain, opposite Ramón Rosado, scored 12 points (10 attacks, one block, one ace). Outside hitter Lorenzo Rivera added 9 points.

Janluar Figueroa PUR

Kai Boyko, captain of Canada said: “There were some ups and downs, which is normal because for many of the guys this is there first international match. We were kind of figuring out what we got to do. We stuck to the game plan well especially in the second and third set. We’re happy with how it went for the most part. I think we blocked a lot better towards the end”.

Ramón Rosado, captain of Puerto Rico, said: “It was challenging. We knew little about them because this Canada team is a new group, and as we saw, they are very good. We came out stronger in the first two sets. I feel that the third set could have been better. But it’s just the first game; hopefully, we’ll get to face them again. We’re going to keep working hard”.

United States Begins NORCECA U21 with a Straight Set Victory over Nicaragua

NOGALES, Mexico, June 11, 2024.- The United States won 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-12) over Nicaragua in their opening match of the NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship in Nogales, Mexico.

In pool A, the United States will face Suriname on Wednesday, while Nicaragua will go up against Mexico.

The Americans were dominant, leading 42-16 in attacks, 7-2 in blocks, and 6-2 in service points. The United States gave away 29 points from unforced errors compared to 20 from Nicaragua.

USA celebrate

Two players scored double digits for the United States; middle blocker Jackson Cryst with 13 points (8 attacks, 3 blocks, 2 aces) and outside hitter Sterling Foley with 11 points, all on attacks.

Nicaragua’s opposite Taushaun Hooker and outside hitter Evans Solís each scored six points.

Devin Taushaun Hooker NCA

Nicaragua managed to keep up with the U.S. only in the first set. The Americans dominated the rest of the match without complications.

Sean Kelly, captain of United States said: “It was a great beginning. We all know we could have played better but we’re just getting used to the gym, getting adjusted, we’re just making sure to stay together no matter what. We’ll definitely do better the rest of the tournament. In the first set we missed a lot of serves and didn’t have a lot of team energy, but towards the end we upped our level”.

Osmar Peralta, captain of Nicaragua, said: “The first set was much better. We executed a good attack and received well. Things didn’t go as we had planned. We’re going to turn the page and focus on the next match”.

Cuba Needed Five Sets to Defeat Guatemala in the NORCECA U21 Opener

NOGALES, Mexico, June 11, 2024. – Cuba needed five sets 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13) to overcome Guatemala in the opening match of the NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship, which began in Nogales, Mexico.

Cuba led in attack points with a 65-51 margin, while Guatemala was ahead in blocks (11-10) and service aces (5-3). Guatemala also committed fewer errors (31-36).

On the second day of pool B, Cuba will face Puerto Rico and Guatemala will go up against Canada.

Daniel Guillermo Martinez CUB celebrate

The top scorer of the match was Cuba’s middle blocker, Daniel Martínez, with 27 points on 22 attacks, 4 blocks, and one ace. He was followed by Kelly Oviedo with 14 points, all on kills  and Carlos Pereira with 13 points on 11 attacks and 2 blocks.

Guatemala’s opposite hitter, Luis Mendizábal, led his team with 23 points on 18 attacks and a  match-high of 5 blocks. Team captain Roberto Recinos contributed 15 points on 14 attacks and 1 ace. Middle blocker José Samayoa added 12 points from 8 attacks, 2 blocks, and 2 service aces.

Luis Roberto Mendizabal GUA

Cuba and Guatemala played a balanced match in which the Central American team seized every opportunity well to take the first set and then entered the next two sets with more confidence, preventing the Cubans from pulling too far ahead. In the fourth set, Guatemala rallied, scoring five consecutive points (from 17-21) to take a 22-21 lead, and then forcing a close fifth set.

Cuba’s captain, Ronaldo Flaquet, said: “We started poorly. Guatemala complicated the match for us; they’re not a team of the level we are used to, and they messed up our game system. We lost focus a lot, but we managed to pull through, and the important thing is the victory”.

Guatemala’s captain, Roberto Recinos, commented: “It was an exciting start. We trained very hard for the competition, and we showed it. The opponent was very strong, but we never gave up. We hope to have a better attitude for the next match”.

Canada opens week 3 against powerful Italy

June 11, 2024.- The third competition week of 2024 Volleyball Nations League’s preliminary phase is underway in Fukuoka, Japan, for Canada’s women’s team.

It was not the start that Canada was hoping for, with a 3-0 loss (25-16, 25-15, 25-14) to Italy in the week’s opening match for these two teams.

“Italy is an exceptional team, I’d say one of the strongest teams we have faced so far this year,” said Canada’s head coach, Shannon Winzer. “We didn’t play to our full potential for sure, and that is disappointing, no one wants to lose like that, but the margin of error becomes even smaller against such a strong team.”

Stats favoured Italy: 37 to 30 attack points, 11 to 1 blocks, and 7 to 2 in serves. Canada lost eight more points to errors than Italy.

“We struggled on first contact, we struggled on attack…. It just wasn’t a good game at our end. The best thing we can do is take what we can from it and move on as quickly as possible. What we do next is the most important thing.”

Opposite Paola Egonu of Italy led the charge with 18 points for her team; Kiera Van Ryk contributed 13 points to Canada’s effort.

Canada is still in a tight race to qualify for Paris 2024. More on that process can be found here: https://bit.ly/3xfcDB0

Canada’s next match is against host Japan on June 13. 

U.S. Beach Teams Confirmed for Paris Olympic Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 10, 2024. – USA Volleyball is proud to announce the athletes and staff who will comprise the U.S. Beach Volleyball Team for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

The athlete roster includes two women’s teams and two men’s teams who qualified for the Paris Olympic Games, which run July 26-August 11.

On the women’s side, the teams of Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss and Kelly Cheng/Sara Hughes will be going to Paris. For the men, the teams of Andy Benesh/Miles Partain and Chase Budinger/Miles Evans have qualified.

Cheng is the only athlete on the team with previous Olympic experience. She competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where she tied for ninth with Sarah Sponcil.

All four duos earned an Olympic berth by finishing among the top 17 of their gender’s FIVB Olympic Rankings within the qualification period, which ran January 1, 2023, to June 9, 2024.

Kloth/Nuss finished second overall in the women’s rankings while Cheng/Hughes were third.

Benesh/Partain tied for fourth in the men’s rankings and Budinger/Evans tied for 13th.

Kloth/Nuss are the defending Pro Beach Tour champions and finished third at the 2023 FIVB World Championships. Cheng/Hughes are the defending world champions and took the gold medal at the final qualifying event on June 5-9 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Benesh/Partain took bronze in Ostrava.

Beach volleyball in Paris will take place July 27-August 10 at Eiffel Tower Stadium. Women’s medal matches will be August 9 and men’s will be August 10.

USA Volleyball has won at least one beach volleyball medal in every Olympics since the sport became official in 1996.

30 Teams to Participate in the NORCECA Beach Tour in Managua

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, June 10, 2024.- The fifth stop of the 2024 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour, set to take place at Paseo Xolotlán in Managua, Nicaragua, from June 14 to 16, will feature 30 teams.

The sand courts at Paseo Xolotlán were constructed in 2017 for the Central American Games and will host the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour for the third time, following the 2019 and 2022 editions.

Fifteen pairs per gender are pre-registered for the competition, with final confirmations and group distributions to be announced the day before the event.

Nicaragua has two male duos, Rubén Mora and Dany López, the tournament’s top seeds and the most successful duo in Nicaraguan beach volleyball history, and Denis López with Alexander Meneses. In 2022, Rubén teamed up with Denis López to secure a bronze medal here in Managua.

Returning to defend their title from 2022 are Timothy Brewster and Kyle Friend from the United States, who also won silver at the first stop in Playa de Güibia this year.

Paseo Xolotlan

Luis García of Guatemala, who earned silver in Managua in both 2019 and 2022, will compete this time alongside Edgar Maldonado.

Puerto Rican duo William Rivera and Arnaldo Torres, who have been strong contenders this season, secured bronze at the third stop in Juan Dolio.

The remaining men’s teams are Braedon Cooke/ Connor Somerville (BER), Rouzbeh Rahnavard/ Tynan Gannett (CAN), Jesario Ebanks/ Stephen Watson (CAY), Stephen Watson/ Julián Araya Alas (CRC), David Vargas/ Gabriel Baltazar (ESA), Irvin Armando/ Manuel Alejandro Serrano Avalo (HON), Zendai Richards/ Clerique Ward (SKN), Darnel Eudoxie/ Rio Jaden Victor (LCA), Joshua Dwarkasing/ David Pinas (SUR), Kendall Ratter/ Marc Lomeli (ISV).

In women, Nicaragua’s Socorro López and Lolette Rodríguez aim to repeat their historic achievement of winning their first NORCECA Tour medal by finishing second in 2019. Nicaragua is also represented by Valeska Hernández/Nahima Silva and Ylimar Alvarado/Ella Resau.

Marie-Alex Bélanger of Canada, who won silver in Managua in 2022, returns with her partner Lea Monkhouse. As a team they secured their first medal together at the seventh stop of the 2023 Tour in El Salvador. Myriam Robitaille and Darby Dunn form the second Canadian team.

Completing the women’s pairs are Megan Hands/ Kayley Hamilton (BER), Maryn McCoombs/ Heather Thompson (CAY), Aliza Aguilar Delgado/ Laura Valentina Molina Alvarado (CRC1), Ximena Núñez/ Kianny Quesada (CRC2), Dana Funes/Keiry Guzmán (ESA), Maritza Zúñiga/Danna Aguilar (GUA1), Natalia Giron/Paola Alvarado (GUA2), Nicole Reinking/ Heather Friesen (USA1), Molly Shaw/ Chloe Loreen (USA2), Sarah Penner/ Jade Vitt (ISV).

It’s turn for the 2024 NORCECA Men’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 11, 2024.- Action continues from Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico, with the 2024 NORCECA Men’s Final Four that runs from June 14-16.

The three-day round robin competition features hosts Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala.

Mexico won the past edition of the event qualifying to the last edition of the Volleyball Men Challenger Cup (VCC) to take place in Linyi, China from July 4-7.

The FIVB Volleyball Nations League will expand to 18 teams in 2025, therefore no team will be relegated at the end of the VNL 2024 season, while the winners of the 2024 Volleyball Challenger Cup and the highest-placed teams in the FIVB Men’s and Women’s Volleyball World Ranking not yet qualified will join the VNL 2025 action.

As of the 2025 edition, the core and challenger team statuses will be abolished and the bottom-placed team in the competition’s final standings in each gender will be relegated, to be replaced by the respective highest-ranked team in the world for the following VNL season.

Consequently, the 2024 NORCECA Men’s Final Four will grant FIVB World Ranking Points to the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

Competition Schedule:

June 14

18:00    Mexico vs Dominican Republic

20:00    Puerto Rico vs Guatemala

June 15

18:00    Guatemala vs Mexico

20:00    Dominican Republic vs Puerto Rico

June 16

18:00    Dominican Republic vs Guatemala

20:00    Puerto Rico vs Mexico

Eight Teams to Compete for the NORCECA Men’s U21 Title

NOGALES, Mexico, June 10, 2024.-  Eight teams are ready to compete for the NORCECA Men’s U21 Continental Championship title, which kicks off on Tuesday, June 11, in Nogales, Mexico.

The head coaches have shared their first impressions ahead of the event, which is part of the qualification system for the FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship in 2025.

The organizing committee confirmed that the event will be streamed on Facebook Live  Federación Mexicana de Voleibol, A.C.

Daniel Lewis, Head Coach of Canada: “The team is of first year university players, so they have some good experience but not internationally. We had five weeks to prepare, and I noticed that our team started to come together well, so I expect us to be ok. We don’t know about the other teams at the beginning of the tournaments, which makes it difficult to prepare for them and you must focus more on yourself, your own team. As the tournament grows, we hope to grow as a team as well, that’s our goal for sure. We take it one game at a time and try to never over or underestimate anybody, just try to make sure our level is always there”.

Canada

Lian Sem Estrada, Entrenador de Cuba: “This is a completely new team. The preparation went well, although there were some challenges because it was at the same time with the U19 team’s preparation. We know these players have little experience, but we will defend our title as champions. We come with the same eagerness and determination to win the ticket to the World Championship.”

Cuba

Luis Fernando Castañeda, Entrenador de Guatemala: “I have come with a young team. We have worked hard, and the level of competition will be high. For us, it’s good to keep competing as preparation for more events. We have a couple of players with experience, but overall, it’s a young group. We hope that the players will develop and evolve as the games progress. We aim to play our best and improve our ranking.”

Guatemala

Jorge Alberto Romero, Head Coach of Mexico: “Since last year I’ve been coaching the team, we finished in second place at the U21 Pan American Cup held in Cuba, and we also competed together in the World Championship in Bahrain. The team is strong, we have a good chance of taking a medal, and our goal is to qualify for the World Championship. However, we know we’ll be facing very tough opponents”.

Mexico

Jorge Mena, Head Coach of Nicaragua: “This version of the team is slightly better. The boys are well-prepared; some of them have considerable experience (5 or 6 participated in the U21 event in Cuba last year), and 80% of the team are the Central American runners-up. We want to perform well, give the players the opportunity to play against high-level teams, and I believe we have a good chance of advancing to the quarterfinals”.

Nicaragua

Gerardo De Jesús Sánchez, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We have come with a balanced team. I have players with international experience; some competed in the U19 World Championship last year in Argentina. Others are new to the group, and some are changing positions. We have worked for a month and a half, and we are in pretty good shape”.

Puerto Rico

Lionel Blokland, Team Manager of Suriname: “Our preparation is fine. The team spirit is high because we want to show the world that Suriname is not a country that you can dismiss, we are here to stay. Suriname is fighting to get better every year, so the other teams have to watch out because slowly but surely, we’re coming on top. That’s our main focus right now”.

Suriname

John Hawks, Head Coach of United States: “We are very excited to be here and represent our country in this tournament. We have a mixture of new guys, but we have a core nucleus that competed in the World Championship last summer. I expect us to compete hard and play for the gold medal”.

United State

Canada wraps up VNL Ottawa 2-2

OTTAWA, Canada, June 09, 2024.- Canada finished week 2 of Volleyball Nations League (men) with a loss to Serbia today at the Arena at TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario.

The final score was Canada 1, Serbia 3 (25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 23-25). Serbia led slightly in attack points (56-54), Canada in blocks (8-7), but Serbia served up 11 aces compared with Canada’s two. Both sides made 22 errors.

“We just couldn’t stop their attack,” said Canada’s Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. ” …If you look at the numbers, we are there, but there’s one point here and there… We knew there would be huge service pressure and they served really well today, so that was another difference. ..We had opportunities, but we didn’t convert, and the result is there. We will focus on getting better and being more efficient in attack and defence.”

Serbia’s Drazen Luburić led the points leaderboard with 22. Stephen Maar and Arthur Szwarc were top scorers for Canada with 16 points apiece.

The next week of men’s play for Canada is in Manila, Philippines, beginning on June 18.

“We’ve improved since last year; I think the work shows – we are able to compete with the top teams and win against top teams. Going forward into the final week in the Philippines, we’ll be looking to make the last few wins and continue improving and hoping to make top 8 (in VNL) and then going to Paris,” said Canadian libero Justin Lui. “We gained a lot of confidence from qualifying for the Olympics and knowing we can win under pressure.

“Last night (a win vs USA) was one of the most memorable matches I’ve had recently. In front of a sold-out home crowd, the team knows now that we can beat top teams when we put our best foot forward.”

Canada’s men’s team is qualified for Paris 2024, Serbia is still looking to qualify via world rankings. 

The Canadian women resume VNL play in Japan this week.

Puerto Rican Shara Venegas earns MVP award at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 9th, 2024.- Shara Venegas team captain of the Puerto Rico earned the Most Valuable Player MVP Award after her team won back to back NORCECA Women’s Final Four.

Shara Venegas received the MVP recognition from Dr. César Trabanco, president of the Puerto Rican Volleyball Federation, during the closing ceremony at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Shara Venegas (PUR) MVP

Also from Team Puerto Rico, outside hitter Stephanie Rivera was the Second Best Spiker, middle blocker Diana Reyes the Best Blocker, setter Wilmarie Rivera was selected Best Server and Best Setter and opposite Grace López Best Opposite.

From Mexico, outside hitter Uxue Amaya Guereca was the Best Spiker and Best Scorer, middle blocker Karina Flores Second Best Middle Blocker and libero Joseline Landeros was Best Receiver and Best Libero.

The award for Best Digger was handed to libero María José Castro from Costa Rica.

Puerto Rico Gold Medal
Mexico Silver Medal
Cuba Bronze Medal

Remarkable win for Puerto Rico to conquer the championship at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 9th, 2024.- Puerto Rico won an exciting four set match to Mexico in front of a passionate home crowd, to become NORCECA Women’s Final Four Champions at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce. The match finished 3-1 for the locals with score of 25-20, 25-20, 19-25, 27-25

This is the second title in a row for Puerto Rico in this event and their fourth medal overall (2 golds, one silver and one bronze). For Mexico, it’s their third podium and their first silver medal in the Final Four. Mexico won the gold in 2022 and bronze in 2019.

Paola Santiago PUR

A well balanced first two sets for Puerto Rico and Mexico but Puerto Rico’s strategy worked out at the end to win both sets 25-20. In the third set, a resilient Mexico came back from a  4-point deficit to tie the set 11-11. Mexico led all the way ending the third set in their favor by a score of 25-19. A nail-biting battle took place in the fourth set that led to extra points. The set ended with a monster block by Puerto Rican Neira Ortiz and score of 27-25.

Uxuel Amaya Guereca MEX

Mexico led by a slight 53-52 in attacks, but both teams were even in blocks (7-7) and serves (4-4). Mexico committed a total of 33 unforced errors while Puerto Rico committed 26.

Outside hitter Paola Santiago was the top scorer for Puerto Rico with 14 points (11 attacks, one  block and 2 aces) followed by middle blocker Diana Reyes with 13 points (9 attacks and 4 blocks). For Mexico, the best scorers were opposite Marian Ovalle with 16 points (13 attacks and 3 blocks) and outside hitter Uxue Guereca with 16 points (13 attacks and 3 blocks).

Head Coach of Puerto Rico – Juan Carlos Núñez: Winning at home is very rewarding. This tournament gave me the opportunity to evaluate some athletes that are new to the national team and gives me an idea of what I can expect in the next events we have in our calendar. Mexico is a team that knows how to play the game, very controlled and analytic but I told the girls that we needed to be patient to close the sets and we did. We need to keep working, strengthen our serve and see what other players can join the team for the next tournaments, especially the Final Six and the FIVB Challenger.

Top Scorer of Puerto Rico – Paola Santiago: I have no words to describe how it feels to play at home in front of our fans that support us in each game. A lot of emotions but very happy that we won the match and the championship. Mexico is a team that has a fast game, very good defense but our blocking and defense combination was that help us the most to achieve our goal. For the next events we need to improve our team tactics since we are a new team, and we need to adapt to each other.

Head coach of Mexico – Nicola Negro: A match in which we started bad in the first sets, with a weak discipline and tactic which led us to commit a lot of unforced errors. At the third set we improve our serve and adjust our blocking-defense system to control Puerto Rico’s attacks. At the end we lost a lot of opportunities to force a tie break. Now we will focus on the Final Six where we will find more teams and we will be able to get more experience and grow as a team.

Best scorer of Mexico – Marian Ovalle: a little frustrated on how the fourth set ended but I’m very happy to know that we can improve and be ready for the next tournament. We need to start playing well from the first set and focus. Mentally we were not focused and made many mistakes especially in the serve and we need to focus on us for the upcoming events.

World champs Cheng and Hughes top the Ostrava Beach Pro Tour event

June 9, 2024.- Reigning world champions Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes of the United States won the Ostrava Elite 16 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour title on Sunday in Czechia.

The women’s tournament in Ostrava saw the return of world champions Cheng and Hughes to the top of the podium for the first time since their victory at last year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, last October. To do that, the Americans downed Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson 2-1 (21-13, 21-23, 15-12) in the gold medal match.

Ostrava Elite16 – Final Results

Podium Men and Women

It was the sixth international and ninth overall victory of the two since they joined forces for the second time in their careers, at the end of 2022. It was also the second title of the 28-year-old Cheng in Ostrava, where she had won in 2021 with former partner Sarah Sponcil.

“Kelly and I just wanted to play together,” Hughes explained. “We just focused on our side of the net because they’re an incredible team. We knew we just had to do what it took to put the ball away and we did that. The fans here in Ostrava are among the best we ever played for, so I’d just like to thank them too.”

Men Podium

In the men’s field, Americans Andy Benesh and Miles Partain secured their best result of the season so far in Ostrava, beating Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway, who were returning to international competition after three months of absence, 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) in the bronze medal match.

The next two weeks in international beach volleyball will be dedicated to the Continental Olympic Qualifiers, with each of the five continental Confederations holding their events.

The Beach Pro Tour will have its next Elite16 event in Gstaad, Switzerland, from July 3-7.

NORCECA U21 Men’s Championship Set to Begin in Nogales

NOGALES, Mexico, June 9, 2024. – NORCECA and the organizing committee of the NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship conducted several inspections ahead of the competition set to start on Tuesday, June 11.

In a joint effort, the Mexican Volleyball Federation, the Municipal Sports Institute of Nogales, and the Government of the City of Nogales welcomed the NORCECA Control Committee members to carry out the inspection of the competition hall, Carlos Hernández Gymnasium.

The Director of Competition, Alberto Arreola, led the inspections to ensure that all facilities meet the competition regulations established by the NORCECA Volleyball Confederation.

The organizing committee confirmed that the event will be streamed on Facebook Live  Federación Mexicana de Voleibol, A.C.

The NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship is part of the qualification system for the 2025 FIVB U21 World Championship.

The 2024 edition will feature eight teams divided into two groups: Group A includes Nicaragua, Mexico, Suriname, and the United States; while Group B consists of Canada, Cuba, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico.

The top team from each group will advance directly to the semifinals, scheduled for Saturday, June 15, while the second and third-place teams will compete in the quarterfinals to complete the semifinal lineup.

Preliminary Round Schedule

June 11

2:00 pm   Cuba vs Guatemala

4:00 pm   Nicaragua vs United States

6:00 pm   Canada vs Puerto Rico

8:00 pm   Mexico vs Suriname

June 12

2:00 pm   Canada vs Guatemala

4:00 pm   Suriname vs United States

6:00 pm   Cuba vs Puerto Rico

8:00 pm   Nicaragua vs Mexico

June 13

2:00 pm   Guatemala vs Puerto Rico

4:00 pm   Suriname vs Nicaragua

6:00 pm   Cuba vs Canada

8:00 pm   Mexico vs United States

Cuba defeats Costa Rica for Third Place at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 9th, 2024.- Cuba defeated Costa Rica 3-1 (25-15, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19) and finished in third place of the NORCECA Women’s Final at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

This is Cuba’s second medal in the history of the event since they finished second in 2022 losing to Mexico in last match.

The Cubans finished with record of 1 win and 2 losses while Costa Rica ended with an 0-3 win-loss record.

Alejandra Gomez CUB block

Cuba came out strong in the first two sets pushing with their serves and power attacks. In the third set, Costa Rica displayed a different strategy forcing with serves to start with a 5-0 advantage. Cuba tried to bounce back but the Costa Ricans were motivated and won the set 25-21. A balanced fourth set started for both teams, but the experience of the Cubans prevailed to take the last set 25-21.

Cuba was led by a solid performance from opposite Alejandra Gómez who finished with 26 points (19 attacks, one block and 6 aces) followed by middle blocker Lianet García with 15 points (14 attacks and one ace). For Costa Rica, Julissa Rodríguez ended with 11 points (8 attacks and 3 blocks).

Julissa Rodriguez CRC

Cuba led 60-29 in attack points and 8-6 in serves. Both teams scored 6 blocks each. Cuba committed a total of 32 unforced errors surpassing the 21 committed by Costa Rica.

Head Coach of Cuba – Leivis García: we achieved the goal for this event, which was to have new players playing to develop the physical and technical aspects and I think we did well in the game. The new players have been fulfilling the task little by little and that is what we wanted. Now we will concentrate on the next tournament which is the Final Six.

Top Scorer of Cuba – Alejandra Gómez: I was a little nervous at first but then managed to take the pace of the game supported by the coach. I am preparing myself and this is an experience to continue playing and advancing in my sport.

Head Coach of Costa Rica – Ronald Pérez: for us it was clearly a great challenge, but we saw a big change in pressure on our players. We decided to be organized tactically and I think we have a very good serve, and we can improve our reception as we could see in the third set. Now we have the Central American Final Four in Honduras, and we are going with the same objective of continuing accumulating points.

Top Scorer of Costa Rica – Julissa Rodríguez: I think it was a good tournament for us as we prepare for the next event. In today’s match we were able to give a better version of ourselves in the last sets. This tournament is for us to prepare for the Central American Final Four since most of us will be playing in that event and our goal is to win.

JaVA Hosts Volleyball Workshop for INSPORT Officers

KINGSTON, Jamaica, June 9, 2024.- The Jamaica Volleyball Association conducted a workshop for Officers of the Institute of Sports (INSPORT) on Friday, June 7 at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sports.

The volleyball workshop was led by the Head of Sports and Recreation Department at GC Foster College and Coach of Jamaica’s first volleyball team to win an international title at the 2015 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) U19 Boys Championship, Steve Davis.

Coach Davis shared his 37 years of volleyball experience and expertise with the 24 attendees from across the country. Notwithstanding their varying sporting backgrounds, the INSPORT Officers benefited immensely from Coach Davis’s theoretical and practical sessions.

This volleyball workshop is intended to be the first of many as the Jamaica Volleyball Association seeks to forge a continuous partnership with INSPORT towards the training of Physical Education Teachers, increase the number of Primary Schools participating in the sport and to coordinate other volleyball workshops and competitions across the island.

Canada beats USA in front of a record home crowd

OTTAWA, Canada, June 8, 2024.- Canada beat USA today in Volleyball Nations League men’s week 2 action at the Arena at TD Place in front of more than 7000 spectators, a record attendance for this tournament in North America.

The final score was Canada 3 USA 1 (25-16, 19-25, 26-24, 28-26).

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Canada’s Stephen Maar dominated scoring with 24 points; Thomas Jaeschke led the USA with 21 points. Overall, Canada led in attack points 56-49, United States led in blocking 8-5, Canada led in aces 8-5 and errors were even at 29.

USA triple block against Maar (Canada)


“We feel great; we won,” said Canada’s head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. “We were serving and passing a lot better as opposed to the last game (against Argentina) and our block defense was very good against a very difficult team to control in attack. But now, for us the most important thing is to be mature. After this game we have another important match to prepare for tomorrow. Serbia is one of the world’s top opponents so it will be a big test for us. Of course I’m really happy with the atmosphere tonight. The support from the fans was very good.”

Team captain Nick Hoag (Sherbrooke, QC) said: “I think the difference today was serve and receive… We were able to put a lot of pressure on the U.S. today. When they are in system, they are one of the best offensive teams in the world and we were able to keep them off net and work block defense. It was also a great atmosphere here tonight!”

United States finish week two with a 3-5 record. Canada plays Serbia tomorrow in the final match of this leg of VNL.

Cuba Defeats Olympic Champion

OTTAWA, Canada, June 8, 2024.- Cuba defeated Olympic Champion France 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10) in the second week of the Volleyball Nations League in Ottawa.

Cuba’s victory boosts their chances of making it to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, although the decisive match will be the first game of the final week against Serbia. Cuba has a 4-4 record.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Cuba’s outside hitters were the stars of the match; Marlon Yant led with 23 points (19 attacks, 3 blocks, one ace), while Miguel Ángel López contributed 21 points (16 attacks, 2 blocks, 3 aces). Middle blocker Javier Concepción added 14 points.

Opposite Théo Faure, with 20 points, was France’s top scorer, with 20 attacks and 3 aces. He was joined by outside hitter Timothée Carle, who scored 20 points (18 attacks, 2 blocks).

Cuba led in blocking 13-7 and committed fewer unforced errors 22-29. France led in attacking 64-60.

Puerto Rico beat Cuba and will play for the championship at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 8th, 2024.- Puerto Rico beat Cuba in straight sets and will play Mexico for the championship of NORCECA Women’s Final Four at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico with score 25-16, 25-22, 25-19.

Cuba started leading the first set 7-4, forcing a time out from Coach Juan Carlos Núñez from Puerto Rico. The locals bounced back and took the first set 25-16. The second set was very tight, but Puerto Rico adjusted at the end of the set for a 25-22 win. Putting pressure on the serve, Puerto Rico controlled the third set and won 25-19.

Puerto Rico led in attacks 40-26, blocks 11-9 and serves 8-2, but committed more errors than Cuba, 20-16.

Puerto Rico

The top scorers of the match for Puerto Rico were middle blocker Diana Reyes with 15 pts (8 attacks, 6 blocks and an ace) and opposite Grace López with 12 points (9 attacks, 2 blocks and an ace). For Cuba the top scorer was opposite Greisy Fine with 11 points (10 attacks and 1 block).

Puerto Rico will play Mexico for the first place of NORCECA Women’s Final Four and Cuba will face Costa Rica for the third place.

Greisy Fine Martinez CUB

Top scorer Puerto Rico – Diana Reyes: We knew that this was a team that was going to show us more presence in the game because they are tall players who attack very hard, but we studied them well to play with strategy and achieve victory. The pressure on serve worked for us, as it affected their reception, and they couldn’t use their middle blockers as much. Tomorrow ‘s match against Mexico will be more demanding but, we will have our analysis and directions from our coach. We will come focused on seeking victory.

Top scorer Cuba – Greisy Fine: we knew it was a difficult match since Puerto Rico is a very good team. We had to play hard and give our all despite having the fans against us. Things didn’t go the way we wanted, but I can say that we gave everything. We must improve some things since we did not have much time to train together prior this tournament but, for our match against Costa Rica we will come with all we got and very focused.

Mexico swept Costa Rica and will play for gold at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 7th, 2024 – Mexico swept Costa Rica on day two of the NORCECA Women’s Final Four at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Mexico controlled the entire match with a dominant serving performance which was too strong for Costa Rica, scoring 11 aces on the first set. Mexico used a different line up on the third set with outside hitter Aime Margarita Topete coming off the bench.

Mexico performed better in attacks 37-19, blocks 9-3 and serves 17-6 while Costa Rica had fewer unforced errors 12-14.

Best scorers for Mexico were Outside hitter Uxue Guereca with 15 points (10 attacks, 2 blocks and 3 aces) and middle blocker Karina Flores Gamez with 14 points (5 attacks, 4 blocks and 5 serves) while for Costa Rica were middle blocker María Alfaro with 7 points (2 attacks, 2 blocks and 3 serves) and outside hitter Tamara Espinosa with 5 points (3 attacks and 2 aces).

Karina Angelica Flores Gamez MEX

The Mexicans are still undefeated in this tournament, with a 2-0 record, and will play with Puerto Rico on last day of competition. If Mexico wins, will be crowned champion of the tournament. 

Costa Rica, with 0-2 record, will play Cuba.

Top Scorer from Mexico – Uxue Guereca: It was a very good match, I think we did a good job. Costa Rica played really well but at the end we are very happy that we got the victory. Our serve was really good, same as our attacks and we were very effective on both skills. Tomorrow against Puerto Rico we need to come to play aggressively as we have done in previous matches and our first contact to be as strong as our attacks.

Top Scorer from Costa Rica – María Alfaro: I think Mexico is a very strong team. They pressured us with their serve and we were really weak with our reception and I think that was the key of the match since when we got a good reception, we were able to play one on one vs Mexico but I think we learned a lot, with many things to improve and eager to continue playing.

USA Dominate the Net in 3rd Win at 2024 VNL

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 7, 2024) –The U.S. Men’s National Team came back after dropping the first set to beat Serbia 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-14) at the preliminary round of Volleyball Nations League on Friday in Ottawa, Canada.

United States (3-4) takes on Canada (3-3) Saturday at 1:30 p.m. PT. Canada has already secured its ticket to the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Middle blocker Taylor Averill is looking forward to playing Canada in front of their home crowd.

“This is what you live for,” Averill told Volleyball World. “Their home court, they’re a good team. We don’t have a lot of time to prepare, but we know this team. We’ve played against them many times. I’m excited, I hope we can show up.”

Averill led the team in blocks with five and added seven kills (.636 hitting percentage).

Outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke led all scorers with 19 points on 17 kills (.452) and two aces.

Opposite Matt Anderson and outside hitter TJ DeFalco each had 16 points. Anderson had 12 kills (.393) and four blocks. DeFalco had 14 kills (.500) and two aces.

Serbia did not play its best match, giving up 28 points on errors while the U.S. gave up 15.

The U.S. outblocked Serbia (11-6) and led in kills (55-52). Serbia edged out the U.S. on aces (5-4).

Puerto Rico dominates Costa Rica at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 7th, 2024.- Puerto Rico started strong the NORCECA Women’s Final Four dominating Costa Rica in straight sets in their debut at Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Ricans enforced their skills in serves and attacks over Costa Rica maintaining the lead throughout the whole match in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. The match finished 3-0 in favor of the locals with scores 25-11, 25-14, 25-14.

Puerto Rico led the match in attacks 46-19, blocks 4-0 and serves 12-4 while Costa Rica made fewer unforced errors (13-16).

Tatiana Sayles CRC

The top scorer for the host team was outside hitter Stephanie Rivera with 12 points (9 attacks, 1 block and 2 aces) and for Costa Rica was captain and opposite hitter Tatiana Sayles with 6 points (5 attacks and 1 ace).

On the second day of the Round Robin competition Puerto Rico will face Cuba and Costa Rica will play against Mexico.

Puerto Rico celebrate

Juan Carlos Núñez – Coach Puerto Rico: it was an opportunity to watch the group. For me it was again being with the older group and seeing the new generation playing. A group that has been training for three weeks and we wanted to see how we were together with players participating for the first time in this scenario. At least it was a good start to evaluate things and prepare for the next two matches.

Shara Venegas – Captain of Puerto Rico: we are going from less to more. Costa Rica is a team that is raising its level a lot and we knew that it was a good game for us to get into gear as a team. Tomorrow, we play against Cuba, it is a team that has a lot of adrenaline and competition among us. Also,  we have some young players with a lot of energy, a desire to learn and a very good vibe, which is helping us to complement each other on the team.

Ronald Pérez – Coach Costa Rica: A very interesting match. Many challenges for us mainly in reception, but I think that for moments we managed to have stability in that aspect. We had a strong opponent in front of us who complicated the game with its serves.

Tatiana Sayles – Captain of Costa Rica: we knew it was a complicated match. Puerto Rico is a very strong team, but we came here to give our best effort. I think we must have more consistency in our game and concentrate more. Tomorrow we are going with everything against Mexico, and we must improve the reception and communicate more.

Mexico defeats Cuba in opening match at NORCECA Women’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 7th, 2024.- Mexico bounced back to defeat Cuba 3-1 in the opening match of the NORCECA Women’s Final Four at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Cuba started with confidence taking the lead of the entire first set thanks to their power attacks. In the second set, Mexico started pushing with a combination on serves and blocks and Cuba tried to fight by tying the set 18-18 but the Mexicans were focused and won the set 25-21. Mexico’s serve was the key skill in the remaining set to defeat Cuba 3-1.

Mexico led in attacks 52-42, blocks 12-11 and serves 6-2 and made fewer errors than Cuba (23-26).

Mexico

Mexico was led by an outstanding performance of their outside hitter Uxue Amaya Guereca Parra, who was the top scorer of the match, with 23 points (18 attacks, 2 blocks and 3 aces) while Cuba’s top scorer was opposite Greisy Fine Martínez with 16 points (12 attacks, 2 blocks and 2 aces).

On the second day of the Round Robin competition, Mexico will face Costa Rica while Cuba will be playing against home team Puerto Rico.

Greisy Fine Martinez CUB

Nicola Negro – Coach of Mexico: A very important victory since Cuba is ahead of us in the world ranking and this victory grants us important points. We started with some issues since Cuba surprised us with a different tactic than the one we had studied, and it took some time for us to adjust. When we started having better serves and worked on our blocking and defense, we found the adjustment we needed to get the victory.

Jocelyn Urias – Captain of Mexico: The truth is that we came to the match very focused, I feel that our goal was to stop them since Cuba is a team that attacks very high. We knew that if we didn’t have a good serve, they would get a good reception and attack. After we started with our strong serve, their reception got weak and that really worked for us very well.

Leivis Garcia – Coach of Cuba: A first match in which Mexico used very well the serve tactic. It damaged our reception line, and we were not able to answer those serves. Tomorrow, we have a strong match against the home team and we need to fight this match with the same goal in mind we came here for, which is gaining points for a qualification.

Laura Suarez – Captain of Cuba: I think this was a very good match. In the first set we came to give it all but then Mexico pushed us with the serve, and we were not able to improve our reception and also made many unforced errors. I think tomorrow we need to come with all the strength to reduce the mistakes and give it all.

AFECAVOL Announces the First Central American Women’s Final Four Championship

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, June 7, 2024. – AFECAVOL is proud to announce the inaugural edition of the AFECAVOL Central American Women’s Final Four Championship, to be held from June 13 to 16 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The AFECAVOL Women’s Final Four brings together the top four senior teams in Central America from the previous year’s rankings, based on the XXII Central American Senior Women’s Championship of 2023: Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.

The creation of this event aims to ensure annual competition for the senior category rather than every two years. Additionally, it will provide ranking points for international competitions, which will be announced later in accordance with the agreements between AFECAVOL and NORCECA.

Teams will arrive in Tegucigalpa on June 11, with preliminaries scheduled for June 12. The three days of round-robin competition will take place at the Jorge Galeano Gymnasium in Tegucigalpa, starting on June 13.

FINAL FOUR FEMENINO DE AFECAVOL

Competition Schedule:

Thursday, June 13

5:00pm   Costa Rica vs El Salvador

7:30pm   Opening Ceremony

8:00pm   Honduras vs Nicaragua

Friday, June 14

5:00pm   Costa Rica vs Nicaragua

7:30pm   Honduras vs El Salvador

Saturday, June 15

5:00pm   Nicaragua vs El Salvador

7:30pm   Costa Rica vs Honduras

Argentina beats Canada at home 

OTTAWA, Canada, June 06, 2024.- In front of a home crowd in Ottawa at the Arena at TD Place, Canada fell to Argentina on Thursday in Volleyball Nations League week 2 play in four sets 1-3 (18-25, 25-22, 21-25, 20-25).

Opposite Arthur Szwarc was Canada’s top scorer with 14 points, equaled by the winning side’s Luciano Palonsky (14 points).

Tuomas Sammelvuo, Canada’s head coach, said: “We didn’t play good volleyball, very simply. Technically and tactically, we didn’t show up well for the match tonight. Argentina is a completely different team than Cuba (which Canada beat on Tuesday night). They have a very high-speed offense. Basically, we just must play better volleyball.”

Canada led in attack points – 53-51. Argentina led in blocking 11-6 and serves 5-2 and Canada made more errors (30-23).

Canada has qualified for Paris 2024, while Argentina is still aiming for a spot in the Games via the World Rankings. Canada plays USA on Saturday, followed by Serbia on Sunday.

The NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship Returns After Six Years

NOGALES, Mexico, June 7, 2024. – The NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship will be held at Carlos Hernández Carrera Gymnasium in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico from June 10 to 17, after six years of absence.

The last edition of the NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship took place in 2018, and due to the problems caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, it could not be held every two years as it had been since its creation in 1998.

The city of Nogales, Sonora in Mexico will host the event, which is part of the qualification system for the FIVB U21 World Championship in 2025.

Cuba is the current champion of the category, having won the title six times. They are followed by the United States with three gold medals and Canada with two.

The 2024 edition will feature the participation of eight teams divided into two groups: Group A with Nicaragua, Mexico, Suriname, and the United States; and Group B consisting of Canada, Cuba, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico.

The preliminary meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 10, and pool-play begins on Tuesday, June 11.

Preliminary Round Schedule

June 11

2:00 pm   Cuba vs Guatemala

4:00 pm   Nicaragua vs United States

6:00 pm   Canada vs Puerto Rico

8:00 pm   Mexico vs Suriname

June 12

2:00 pm   Canada vs Guatemala

4:00 pm   Suriname vs United States

6:00 pm   Cuba vs Puerto Rico

8:00 pm   Nicaragua vs Mexico

June 13

2:00 pm   Guatemala vs Puerto Rico

4:00 pm   Suriname vs Nicaragua

6:00 pm   Cuba vs Canada

8:00 pm   Mexico vs United States

Year by Year Podiums

YEARGOLDSILVERBRONZE
1998CANDOMUSA
2000CUBPURUSA
2002CANPURUSA
2004CUBUSAPUR
2006CUBUSACAN
2008CUBCANUSA
2010USACANPUR
2012USACANMEX
2014CUBCANUSA
2016USACUBCAN
2018CUBDOMCAN

Composite Medal Table

COUNTRYGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTAL
CUB6107
USA32510
CAN2439
PUR0224
DOM0101
MEX0011

United Sates fell to Italy and Cuba to the Netherlands

OTTAWA, Canada, June 6, 2025.- The world champions swept the United States and the Netherlands defeated Cuba in four sets at the TD Place on Thursday at the Volleyball Nations League 2024.

Italy swept the United States 3-0 (25-25, 26-24, 25-20) providing them 10.31 FIVB World Ranking points, which served two major purposes for them, pushing Italy one step closer to the Paris Olympics and moving them up to second place in the Rankings with 364.77 points, surpassing the Americans, who went down to 349.71.

The Americans, who this week in Ottawa are using the roster selected by head coach John Speraw to compete at the Olympics in 50 days, had outside hitter Torey Defalco and middle blocker Max Holt as their leading scorers with eight points each.

“We had opportunities to close the first two sets and we didn’t take them, that was the difference,” Holt reflected. “They’re a world-class team and we knew they were going to bring everything they had today. We have to learn from it and we know we’re probably going to see that team in a very important match in the near future.”

The USA are in 13th place with six points (two wins, four losses) and will need to do better in their six remaining Preliminary Phase matches to qualify the VNL finals.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

The United States will be back on the court in Ottawa on Friday, playing Serbia at 20:00 local time (00:00 GMT, Saturday).

Namir goes up to score one of this 38 points against Cuba

Nimir scores 38 points against Cuba

The first match of the day in Ottawa saw arguably the greatest individual performance of the VNL 2024 so far, with star opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz leading the Netherlands to a 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22) win over Cuba with impressive 38 points, falling just five short of his own record.

Outside hitter Marlon Yant, with 16 points, and opposite Michael Sánchez (who celebrated his 38th birthday on the court), with 14, were Cuba’s main scorers.

The 9.66 World Ranking points earned kept the Dutch alive in the race to qualify for the Paris Games as they are still the second team below the qualification line with 222.71 but managed to reduce the gap to both Serbia (247.59), the last team inside the zone, and Cuba (242.53), the first ones looking from the outside.

Cuba will face Italy on Friday at 11:00 local time.

Coaches looking forward to Women’s Final Four Competition

The 2024 NORCECA Women’s Final Four is ready to take place at Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico this week. Coaches are eagerly anticipating this event, which will award FIVB World Ranking Points for the Volleyball Nations League.

Head Coach Cuba – Leivis Osmani Garcia Leon

The preparation was short because many of the athletes arrived from their clubs in mid-May and the integration of the entire team was very brief. We have a very mixed squad in terms of age and experience, athletes already establishing themselves in the national team and others who join with good prospects, there is great motivation and a well-knit group. Our objective in this first event is to evaluate and study some girls who have not competed at this level and as a general purpose to increase the points in the ranking to achieve a classification for a possible VNL.

Cuba

Head Coach Mexico – Nicola Negro

This year we have a larger roster of players than last year. We had roster organization problems before but at this moment we have a larger group that allows us to work better. Our preparation was short, we started in May with a restricted group and with the full team we have trained for only five days. We are here starting the season and we need a little time to adjust but we are here to obtain the best possible result. We know that Puerto Rico and Cuba are very strong teams, and we are going to give our best.

Mexico

Head Coach Puerto Rico – Juan Carlos Nunez

We have been training hard every day for about three weeks. We have had the opportunity to have all the players we called up available. Our team is a mix of veteran players and players who are going to make their first appearance with the senior team with good projection and it will be their first experience at this level. I think we are going to present a good team, not only for this tournament but for the others that are coming this year. Our expectations are to win all three games and keep our team at its best for the upcoming tournaments. The fans must be supporting us because in addition to the fact that we are playing at home, they are a team that has a good chance of winning.

Puerto Rico

Head Coach Costa Rica – Ronald Eduardo Perez Lopez

We have been training for this event for around three to four months with a new coach. We are starting a new process so basically, we are trying to make a generational change. We had a couple of players that were not able to come, but we bring the team quite similar to what the last Final Four was with some new players that are looking for a place in the senior team. Our main objective is to develop ourselves, create a team on the field and improve little by little as the games progress.

Costa Rica

USA Volleyball Reveals Women’s Team for Paris 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 5, 2024. – USA Volleyball is proud to announce the 12 players who will compete on the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

The roster includes eight players who won the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and four players who will make their Olympic debuts in Paris.

Outside hitter Jordan Larson will compete in her fourth Olympic Games. She earned a silver medal from London 2012 and a bronze medal from Rio de Janeiro 2016 to go with her gold medal from Tokyo.

Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson Cook will make her third Olympic run. She competed in 2016 (bronze medal) and 2020 (gold medal).

Setter Jordyn Poulter, libero Justine Wong-Orantes, opposites Annie Drews and Jordan Thompson, and middle blockers Chiaka Ogbogu and Haleigh Washington will all compete in their second Olympics after winning the gold medal in Tokyo.

Setter Lauren Carlini, outside hitters Kathryn Plummer and Avery Skinner, and middle blocker Dana Rettke will make their Olympic debuts in Paris.

“We have so much for which to be grateful in our Women’s National Team: so many quality human beings who are dedicated, mindful and hard-working women. So many who have both people skills and volleyball skills at such a high level. Our core group of 25 Women’s National Teamers has done great work over the past months, preparing to help bring out the best in each person around her, with an eye toward the Paris Olympics.

“Roster selections like this bring both the bitter and the sweet. The bitter is that we cannot travel all 25 of these special women to Paris. But we will carry them in our hearts and thoughts, and they will continue to make us better until the last ball drops.

“The sweet is that our Olympic roster is now clear, and we are ecstatic for this group, and for our program. This group of athletes will be set to bring their best and be their most bulletproof, in what might be the deepest Olympic tournament ever. We can’t wait to watch them ‘Let It Rip’ in Paris!”

The five Olympic alternates for the U.S. Women are 2020 Olympic gold medalist Micha Hancock at setter, libero Morgan Hentz, outside hitter Ali Frantti, outside hitter/opposite Khalia Lanier, and middle blocker Anna Stevenson Hall.

The team will wait to name its official alternate, who will travel to Paris and can be subbed in for an injured player during the tournament.

“Our five alternates are a special group with difficult yet critical tasks,” Kiraly said. “They must bring a good version of themselves every day; do everything they can to make the team better; and stay ready in case of injury or illness. Nobody is more capable of exceeding in those tasks than these five women.”

The U.S.  Women went into the 2024 season ranked No. 2 in the world. The team has competed in 12 Olympic Games, including the last 10. The U.S. Women qualified for the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, which the United States boycotted.

The U.S. Women have won one Olympic gold medal (2020), three silver medals (1984, 2008 and 2012) and two bronze medals (1992 and 2016).

The women’s Olympic competition schedule and pools will be revealed at the conclusion of the 2024 Volleyball Nations League preliminary rounds, which end on June 16. The U.S. Women play their final preliminary round of the Volleyball Nations League next week in Fukuoka, Japan.

Indoor volleyball at the 2024 Olympic Games will take place at South Paris Arena 1.

U.S. Women’s Roster for the Olympic Games Paris 2024
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., Univ. of Illinois, Rocky Mountain)
3 Avery Skinner (OH, 6-1, Katy, Texas, Univ. of Kentucky, Lone Star)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Univ. of Nebraska, Great Plains)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
12 Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati, North Country)
15 Haleigh Washington (MB, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ., Rocky Mountain)
16 Dana Rettke (MB, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
22 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford Univ., Southern California)
23 Kelsey Robinson Cook (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., Univ. of Nebraska, Great Lakes)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (MB, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas, North Texas)

Alternates
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
5 Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
6 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
14 Anna Stevenson Hall (MB, 6-2, Laurens, S.C., Univ. of Louisville, Palmetto)
29 Khalia Lanier (OH/Opp, 6-2, Scottsdale, Ariz., Univ. of Southern California, Arizona)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue,  Alfee Reft
Consultant Coach: Marv Dunphy
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel
Performance Analyst: Rianne Verhoek
Team Leader: Coley Pawlikowski
Mental Performance Coach: Katy Stanfill
Culture Consultant: Sue Enquist
Dietitian: Shawn Hueglin
Massage Therapist: Ricardo Brambila
Team Doctor: Dr. Lori Boyajian-O’Neill

Canada opens VNL in Ottawa with 3-1 win over Cuba

OTTAWA, Canada, June 4, 2024.- Canada’s men’s team opened its second week of the 2024 edition of Volleyball Nations League with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-20, 28-26) win in front of a supportive home crowd at the Arena at TD Place in Ottawa. 

Canada’s Eric Loeppky led scoring with 22 points, followed by Stephen Maar with 20 points and all contributed to a solid defense against the powerful Cuban attack. Lucas Van Berkel, Arthur Szwarc and Fynn McCarthy produced game-changing blocks throughout the match, including a triple effort by Van Berkel, Szwarc and Maar at the net to seal the victory.

Cuba led in attack points (60-56), but Canada dominated in blocking (18-6), while serves were even at four. Errors were similar.

Full schedule is on the VNL website: https://en.volleyballworld.com/volleyball/competitions/volleyball-nations-league/schedule/#fromDate=2024-06-02

“This is the most organized Cuban team I’ve played in a long time. They have incredible spikers. … For us, it’s super important to stay together. This is an example of when team organization generally beats gifted spikers. I am really happy how we came out against a strong team. They played extremely well during the first week. With each match, we are starting to play better and better. It’s a good sign,” said Maar.

Tuomas Sammelvuo, the Canadian team coach, highlighted the “18 blocks against a very physical team and the guys executed well. Another key factor was the attack against a big block. We were very efficient, with a few mistakes. … This is a great victory, and we want to improve for the next game.”

After a day off, Canada returns to TD Place on Thursday to play 2020 Olympic Games bronze medalist Argentina. Earlier today in Ottawa Argentina lost to USA in three sets. Cuba also returns to action on Thursday against the Netherlands.

Matches can be viewed at www.cbcsports.ca or VBTV. 

With their Olympic roster, USA score big win over Argentina

OTTAWA, Canada, June 4, 2024.- Using the players selected by head coach John Speraw to represent the country at the Paris Olympics for the first time in the Volleyball Nations League 2024, the United States began the second week of the tournament’s Preliminary Phase with a sweep of Argentina on Tuesday, in Ottawa, Canada.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

The Americans, who sent a different group of players to play in Antalya, Türkiye, two weeks ago, getting just a win in four matches, were dominant against the South Americans at the TD Place, triumphing 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 26-24) in the opening match of Pool 4.

Outside hitters Aaron Russell and Torey Defalco, with 13 points each, and opposite Matt Anderson, with 12, led the American offense to their second victory in the VNL 2024.

“We struggled a little bit with our service, but always relied on our system and the way we play,” Anderson commented. “We ended up taking the first week off because we wanted to give some of the guys who finished their club seasons late a few more days to rest. It’s a really important summer and a long one and we need to be ready. We expected some hiccups along the way today and we definitely had them, but we’ll watch the game film and make the adjustments that we can. We need a few more wins this week as we try to qualify for the VNL Finals.”

The top scorer of the Tokyo Olympics, Argentinean opposite Bruno Lima was the most productive player on the court, tallying 15 points, with 13 kills, one block and one ace.

The victory made the Americans move one spot up in the VNL standings, getting to six points (two wins) and going from 12th to 11th place. They also added 7.57 FIVB World Ranking points with the sweep and remained in second place, but are now much closer to second-placed Italy (360.02 to 361.86).

The United States will be on the court on Thursday facing world champions Italy at 16:30 local time (20:30 GMT).

The 2024 NORCECA Women’s Final Four takes Center Stage at Ponce

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 3, 2024.- The 2024 NORCECA Women’s Final Four will take center stage at Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico from June 7-9.

Host Puerto Rico will be joined by Mexico, Cuba and Costa Rica in a three-day round robin competition that starts on Saturday June 7.

Puerto Rico won the past edition of the event qualifying to the last edition of the Volleyball Women Challenger Cup (VCC) to take place this year in Manila, the Philippines from July 4-7.

The FIVB Volleyball Nations League will expand to 18 teams in 2025, therefore no team will be relegated at the end of the VNL 2024 season, while the winners of the 2024 Volleyball Challenger Cup and the highest-placed teams in the FIVB Men’s and Women’s Volleyball World Ranking not yet qualified will join the VNL 2025 action.

As of the 2025 edition, the core and challenger team statuses will be abolished and the bottom-placed team in the competition’s final standings in each gender will be relegated, to be replaced by the respective highest-ranked team in the world for the following VNL season.

Consequently, the 2024 NORCECA Women’s Final Four will grant FIVB World Ranking Points to the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

Competition Schedule:

June 7

18:00    Mexico vs Cuba

20:00    Puerto Rico vs Costa Rica

June 8

18:00    Mexico vs Costa Rica

20:00    Cuba vs Puerto Rico

June 9

18:00    Costa Rica vs Cuba

20:00    Puerto Rico vs Mexico

2024 USA Olympic Men’s Team to Debut at VNL in Ottawa

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 3, 2024.-  The U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team for Paris 2024 will make its competitive debut at the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary round matches on June 4-8 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The U.S. Men finished the first round of VNL at 1-3 with a less-experienced group of athletes. They are ranked No. 3 in the world and have won the silver medal at the last two VNLs (2022 and 2023).

The U.S. setters in Ottawa are Micah Christenson and Micah Ma’a. The liberos are Kyle Dagostino and Erik Shoji.

The outside hitters are T.J. DeFalco, Thomas Jaeschke, Garrett Muagututia and Aaron Russell. The opposites are Matt Anderson and Kyle Ensing. The middle blockers are Taylor Averill, Max Holt, Jeff Jendryk and David Smith.

Only 12 players are allowed on the Olympic roster. Ensing is the official alternate athlete for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team and Dagostino is not on the roster.

The U.S. Men’s head coach is John Speraw, who was named head coach in 2013 and helped the team to the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Speraw’s top assistants are former indoor and beach player Matt Fuerbringer, who has coached college and club teams, and Javier Weber, a three-time Olympian for Argentina who also coached the national team and continues to coach for professional club teams. Olympian Erik Sullivan, who coaches with the Texas women’s volleyball team, will also assist Speraw in Ottawa.

U.S. Men’s Schedule for Week Two 2024 VNL
All times PDT
Matches will be shown live and on-demand on VolleyballWorld.tv

Week 2 in Ottawa, Canada
June 4 at 1:30 p.m. USA vs Argentina
June 6 at 1:30 p.m. USA vs Italy
June 7 at 5 p.m. USA vs Serbia
June 8 at 1:30 p.m. USA vs Canada

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster
for 2024 Volleyball Nations League – Week 2

No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Matt Anderson (Opp, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State, Western Empire)
Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State, Chesapeake)
Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
10 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Florida, Stanford Univ., Florida)
11 Micah Christenson (S, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Southern California, Aloha)
12 Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State, Ohio Valley)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA, Aloha)
17 Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola Univ. Chicago, Great Lakes)
18 Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
19 Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern California)
20 David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., Univ. of California Irvine, Southern California)
22 Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford Univ., Aloha)

Head Coach: John Speraw
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer
Second Assistants: Javier Weber and Erik Sullivan
Performance Analyst and Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Tim Pelot
Team Manager: David Dantes
Sports Psychologists: Andrea Becker, Peter Naschak
Doctors: Andrew Gregory

Men’s VNL Touches Down in Ottawa

June 3, 2024.- The much-anticipated week two of men’s Volleyball Nations League action is taking place in Ottawa, Ontario, this week.

Head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo has confirmed the week two Canadian men’s roster (listed below) and the team is ready to take on Cuba, Argentina, USA and Serbia.

Also, in Ottawa this week are national teams from Italy, France and Netherlands.

Full schedule is on the VNL website: https://en.volleyballworld.com/volleyball/competitions/volleyball-nations-league/schedule/#fromDate=2024-06-02

VNL carries extra importance this year as teams who have qualified for Paris 2024 are preparing for that tournament and other teams are still competing for a berth via rankings.

Canada’s matches in Ottawa
Tue., June 4 – 8:00 pm EDT CAN vs. CUB
Thu., June 6 – 8:00 pm EDT CAN vs. ARG
Sat., June 8 – 4:30 pm EDT CAN vs. USA
Sun., June 9 – 6:00 pm EDT CAN vs. SRB

Matches can be viewed at www.cbcsports.ca or VBTV. 

VNL Week 2 (Ottawa)
Luke Herr – Winnipeg, MB
Brett Walsh – Calgary, AB
Ryley Barnes – Edmonton, AB
Nicholas Hoag – Sherbrooke, QC
Eric Loeppky – Steinbach, MB
Stephen Maar – Aurora, ON 
Brodie Hofer – Langley, BC
Pearson Eshenko – Banff, AB
Fynn McCarthy – Lake Country, BC
Danny Demyanenko – Toronto, ON
Lucas Van Berkel – Edmonton, AB
Xander Ketrzynski – Toronto, ON
Arthur Szwarc – Toronto, ON
Justin Lui – Pickering, ON
Reserves:
Jordan Schnitzer – Surrey, BC
Landon Currie – Coldstream, BC

Staff:
Head coach: Tuomas Sammelvuo
Assistant coach: Joao Paolo Bravo
Assistant coach: Michael Hawkins
Strength and conditioning: Michael Cook
Performance analyst: Damian Musiak
Athletic therapist: Schad Richea
Chiropractor: Abe Avender
Team manager: Cassandra Nicol
Director, high performance: Julien Boucher 

United States Drop Five-Setter to Top-Ranked Türkiye

ARLINGTON, Texas, June 2, 2024.- United States gave itself chances to win, but in the end, it suffered a five-set loss (21-25, 25-20, 25-21, 12-25, 15-12) to the world’s top-ranked team Türkiye in a Volleyball Nations League preliminary match on Sunday at College Park Center.

United States (4-4) split their first eight matches in VNL action and is in eighth place. Eight teams, including host Thailand, will advance to the Final Round. The U.S. will return to play on June 10 at 11:30 p.m. PT against France (1-7) to begin the third and final week of preliminary play in Fukuoka, Japan. Türkiye (6-2) finished the first two rounds in fifth place.

 Seven players scored at least five points for the U.S., whose depth was the key in a dominating fourth set and taking the lead late in the fifth.

Opposite Jordan Thompson recorded team-highs of 13 kills and 16 points, while recording three blocks and seven digs. Jordan Larson finished with 14 points on the outside with 12 kills and two service aces, shared match-high honors with seven successful receptions, and added nine digs.

 Libero Justine Wong-Orantes finished with a team-high 14 digs and setter Jordyn Poulter added 11.

 “We run really deep. We have people who can come off the bench and change games for us,” Poulter said. “This entire VNL, we are looking to get better, and I think tonight we got better. It wasn’t the result we wanted, but we got better. We are going to use the next five days before we leave for Japan to see how much better we can get in our gym.”

 Middle blocker Dana Rettke was the other U.S. player who scored in double digits with 13 points on 10 kills and three blocks. Outside Kathryn Plummer totaled eight points and middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu led all players with five blocks, adding a pair of kills.

In a remarkably close match, both on the court and statistically, the teams tied with 61 kills. The U.S. held a 14-11 advantage in blocks, while Türkiye had one more ace (4-3). The U.S. scored on 25 of Türkiye’s errors and committed 22.

 “Our team battled incredible fiercely,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “That was a real positive to take from this. Even when it was rough, we figured out how to push and get to a generally better spot until right at the end of the match.”

 Melissa Vargas of Türkiye showed why she is one of the best players in the world with 27 points on 23 kills, two blocks, and two aces. She also totaled double digits in digs with 10.

Alayo and Diaz Won Silver in Stare Jablonki and are in Olympic Qualification Zone

STARE JABLONKI, Poland June 2, 2024.- Cubans Jorge Alayo and Noslen Díaz won the silver medal on Sunday, at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Stare Jablonki Challenge in Poland, which put them in Olympic Qualification Zone.

World champions Czech Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner beat Cuban sensations Jorge Alayo and Noslen Diaz 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-11) to secure the title.

Podium Poland

Stare Jablonki Challenge – Final Results

Alayo and Diaz also went to three sets but won 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-10) to Caprogosso siblings of Argentina.

The results of the Stare Jablonki Challenge caused significant changes in the FIVB Olympic Rankings with just one tournament left in the qualification period, involving teams that were just outside the qualification zone and also ones who are battling other duos from their own countries for a spot in the Paris Games.

Selfie

Men’s silver medalists Alayo and Diaz started the event outside the qualification zone but are now well inside it with the 760 points they collected, getting to 7,800. With that, Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt, who have 7,260, were pushed down the list and are now looking from the outside.

The same movement happened among the women, in which Canadians Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain, who fell in semifinals to 0-2 (11-21, 18-21) to Latvia’s Tina/Anastasija, were the last team inside the zone, also added points, but got only to 6,660 and are now outside.

The Olympic qualification period comes to an end next week, after the conclusion of the Ostrava Elite16, which will go from Wednesday to Sunday in Czechia.

Canada finishes VNL round 2 with a win

June 02, 2024.- Canada’s decisive effort earned the team a 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-18) win over Korea today in Volleyball Nations League play in Arlington, Texas. 

Attackers Kiera Van Ryk and Alexa Gray led scoring with 13 points apiece, followed by middle blocker Emily Maglio with nine points and setter Brie O’Reilly with five aces and seven total points.

“There are no easy games in VNL”, said Canada head coach Shannon Winzer. “Coming out against Korea we wanted to put a lot of pressure on them with serve, work to be clean on block and have our attackers vary their attack in angles and shots. Most importantly we wanted to remind ourselves to enjoy playing the game! I think we did a pretty good job and can find confidence going into an important round three”.

Today, Canada dominated in attack points (44-21), blocks (8-5) and aces (9-4). Errors favored Korea by one (15-14).

It was a marked difference from Friday’s loss to Serbia: “It felt like we played with a ton of pressure against Serbia, and we made mistakes that are uncharacteristic of us. We need to find a way to continue to play free and enjoy the moment, regardless of what is on the line. Pressure is only going to increase and that game gave us good information about ourselves and we can now come up with a plan to handle it better for next time”.

The next round is in Fukuoka, Japan, where Canada plays Italy on June 11, and then Japan, Netherlands and France.

The team sits at five wins and three losses.

The women’s team is still in contention to qualify for Paris 2024 via the World Rankings.

United States Fall to Undefeated Poland in 4-Set Thriller

June 1, 2024.- Involving the teams ranked third and fourth in the FIVB World Rankings, the match between Americans and Polish was among the most anticipated of the week in Texas.

The Europeans prevailed over the home side with a 3-1 (29-27, 25-22, 20-25, 25-23) victory, in a rematch of last year’s VNL bronze medal match, which was also held in Arlington.

Tokyo Olympics MVP outside hitter Jordan Larson carried the American offense, with 21 points (20 kills, one block), followed by opposite Jordan Thompson, with 18 (16 kills, one block, one ace).

United States (4-3) will finish their first round of VNL on Sunday against world No. 1-ranked Türkiye (5-2) on Sunday. Poland finished its first round on Saturday at 8-0.

Dominican Republic ends Week 2

Dominican Republic fell in a hard-fought 1-3 (20-25, 25-23, 24-26, 23-25) to Japan.

Dominican opposite Gaila Gonzalez-Lopez hammered out the match high of 25 points, supported by outsides Madeline Guillen and Yonkaira Pena Isabel with 16 points apiece.

Koga led Japan win 19 points, all on offense. Hayashi and Ishikawa finished with 15 points each, while middle blocker Nichika Yamada added another 10, four of which in stuff blocks.

Dominican Republic has a 2-6 win-loss record.

Puerto Rico’s Decilise Champion the MVP of the Girls U17 Pan Ame Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, June 1, 2024.- Puerto Rico’s Outside hitter Decilise Champion was elected the Most Valuable Player MVP of the inaugural edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup on Saturday in Guatemala City.

Champion was handed the award during the closing ceremony after Puerto Rico won the gold medal match to Peru and was crowned undefeated champion. She also was named the first Best Spiker.

Individual awards

Other awards were handed out recognizing individual performance based on the statistical data during the event.

Ariana Vasquez of Peru received the award for second Best Spiker and Guatemalan Natalia Girón was granted the award for first Best Blocker.

Recognitions for Costa Rica were given to Amelie Jenkins as second Best Blocker, Amanda Campos the Best Opposite and Nadia Granados the Best Server.

Venezuelans Yilen Gutierres and Fiorellys Utrera were named the Best Setter and Best Scorer respectively.

Kenia Martínez of Mexico left were her hands full, as Best Libero, Receiver and Libero.

Puerto Rico Take Gold at Girls U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, June 1, 2024.- Puerto Rico defeated Peru 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 31-29) to take the Gold Medal of the inaugural edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup, which concluded on Saturday at Guatemala’s City Dome.

Puerto Rico won the gold medal undefeated, with a 5-0 record and 5-1 mark in sets. Peru, the silver medalist, finished with a 4-1 record and a 12-6 record in sets.

In a dramatic finish where Peru denied five match points, Puerto Rico led in attack (53-40), blocking (6-2), and serving (5-2) but conceded 26 points on errors against 17.

Peru Silver Medal

Outside hitter Decilise Annalee Champion led her team to win the gold medal with a match-high of 24 points on 23 attacks and one block. Sara Lozano contributed 18 points on15 attacks and a match-high of 3 blocks. Team captain Kalia Alvarado registered 13 points on 11 attacks and two aces.

Middle blocker Camila Monge was Peru’s leading scorer with 9 points, all from kills, followed by outside hitters Brenda Quiroz and Ariana Vásquez with 7 points each.

Camila Monje PER

Juan Carlos Núñez, coach of Puerto Rico, said they were able to apply pressure with their serving and had significant strength from the outside hitters. He also explained, “It was a game of long rallies because both teams controlled the ball well”. The team worked hard for the victory, “We had to earn our points because Peru didn’t give away many errors”. Elaborating on the match, he said, “We had two good sets, and in the third, we had many opportunities, but it came down to a dramatic finish, which was a good experience for the players. They felt the pressure, anxiety, and we couldn’t make the double substitution. These circumstances arose due to lack of experience; they are 15-year-old girls”.

Brazilian Antonio Rizola, coach of Peru, said he was proud of his team. He explained that Puerto Rico’s experience was evident, “They are a more mature team, despite being the same age, they live and know more about the game than our team, and we felt that weight”. Regarding the last set, he said, “Everyone expected Peru to give up, but that wasn’t the case. We made three serving errors because of anxiety, but this helps them grow and mature”. He concluded by saying, “I am very happy”.

Venezuela Wins Bronze at the Girls U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, June 1, 2024.- Venezuela defeated the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-17) in the bronze medal match of the inaugural Girls U17  Pan American Cup on Saturday at Guatemala’s City Dome.  

Venezuela claimed the bronze medal with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses, with a total of 14 sets won and 8 lost.

The Dominican Republic, finishing in fourth place, closed with a 3-3 win-loss record and a 9-9 record in sets.

Venezuela dominated in attack points (40-36) and points from serves (5-3). The Dominican Republic had the advantage in blocks (6-4). Venezuela scored 27 points on Dominican errors and committed 18 of their own.

Fiorellys Utrera VEN

Once again, outside hitter Fiorellys Utrera led Venezuela with a match-high of 19 points, on 15 attacks, two blocks, and two service points. Gabriela Noguera and Nohely Placido (who came in as a substitute in the second set) each finished with 8 points.

The first two sets were very close, and it wasn’t until the third set that Venezuela managed to pull away when Fiorellys Utrera went to serve with the score at 12-11, extending the lead to seven points (18-11) and celebrating the bronze medal with a comfortable 25-17 set win.

Venezuela Bronce

Gabriela Noguera, Venezuela’s captain, said that the team learned a lot and is very motivated to keep working. Regarding the match, she expressed, “with emotion and enthusiasm, we managed to get the result, and Fiorellys brought stability to the team in the third set when she served; we had calmer”.

“We studied the Dominican Republic well, we knew where to position ourselves and where to adjust in blocking”, said Willian Ruiz, Venezuela’s coach. He explained that the team had difficulty pulling ahead until the third set due to the players’ age, “it’s natural for them to have many ups and downs, but we trust the work we are doing; Dominican Republic failed at key points, and we succeeded, and the teams were evenly matched in all aspects”. He concluded, “regardless of the result, it’s a tremendous tournament; we faced six different teams and it had been more than 14 years since we competed internationally”.

Mexico Defeats Cuba in Straight Sets for Fifth Place

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, June 1, 2024.- Mexico defeated Cuba 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-12) for fifth place in the inaugural Girls U17  Pan American Cup on Saturday in Guatemala City.

Mexico finished the Pan American Cup with a 3-3 record in wins. Mexico also defeated Cuba in pool-play in straight sets. Cuba concluded with a 1-4 record.

Mexico

Mexico overpowered Cuba with a sizeable  advantage in attack points, 32-13; they also led in blocks (8-4) and service points (6-2). Mexico benefited from 29 Cuban errors while committing 14 of their own.

Mexico’s team captain, Aitana Rettke, was the only player with double digits scoring 13 points on 10 attacks, one block, and two points on serves. Outside hitters Brenda Esquivel and Karen González contributed 9 and 8 points respectively. Esquivel had a match-high of 5 blocks.

Aitana Rettke MEX,

Salet Castillo was Cuba’s top scorer with 9 points.

Mexico’s coach, Ignacio Sánchez Palmeros, honestly expressed that his team arrived at the competition overconfident, stating, “it is difficult to talk about a tournament with these results”. He added that this tournament grounds them to prepare physically and mentally for the World Championship in August, “this is a lesson for the team and for us as coaching staff”. Regarding today’s match, he said, “we have great respect for Cuba, and, like my players, it was mentally challenging to face the position we had to play for”.

Costa Rica Finishes in Seventh Place

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, June 1, 2024.- Costa Rica finished seventh place at the Girls U17 Pan American Cup after defeating Guatemala 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22) at the Multi-sports Dome in Guatemala City.

Costa Rica concluded with a 2-4 win-loss record  and Guatemala 0-5.

Costa Rica and Guatemala had also faced in pool-play where Costa Rica also won in four sets.

Amanda Campos CRC

The 13-4 advantage in service points was crucial for Costa Rica’s victory; they also outperformed in attack points 48-39. Guatemala held an 8-6 advantage in blocks and committed fewer errors 29-35.

Three players led Costa Rica’s victory, outside hitter Michelle Arias with 18 points (17 attacks, one service), middle blocker Amelie Jenkins with 11 points (5 attacks, a match-high of 4 blocks, two services), and opposite Amanda Campos with 10 points (8 attacks, one block, one serve).

Natalia Perez GUA

On Guatemala’s side, opposite Melissa Guerra scored 16 points on 11 attacks, 3 blocks, and 2 direct service points. She was joined by outside hitter Andrea Garces with 11 attack points.

Argentine Christian López, coach of Costa Rica, began by saying, “playing these matches is very difficult because you come with objectives and only have one win”. Regarding how he motivated his team, he said, “I told them this was a final, it’s not easy because they are young girls, there’s fatigue because they are not used to playing at this pace, there are ups and downs”. He considered that Guatemala played a much better match than their first clash.

Celeste Cifuentes, Guatemala’s coach, said her team played with more order, but unfortunately the refereeing decisions “killed” their rhythm. She added that there are aspects to improve, but “leaving aside the result, the players found their level of play and showed what they can do”.

United States Sweep Bulgaria at VNL

ARLINGTON, Texas, May 31, 2024. – After two days off from competition, the U.S. Women’s National Team returned to the court and won its third consecutive match in Volleyball Nations League preliminary play with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) triumph over Bulgaria on Friday night.

The U.S. Women (4-2), ranked fourth in the latest FIVB world rankings, come back tomorrow to face first-place (7-0) and world’s third-ranked Poland at 2:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. CT. Poland has dropped just one set in this year’s VNL and defeated the U.S. in last year’s VNL bronze medal match. Bulgaria, which broke a four-match losing streak with a 3-2 win over Korea on Wednesday, fell to 1-5.

Outside hitter and Texas native Avery Skinner had a tremendous match in her home state, leading all players with 17 kills and 19 points, adding 10 digs and a team-high four successful receptions.

Outside hitter Ali Frantti, who was one of three U.S. players to total 10 points, is embracing her veteran status. “I want to help the new women out. It feels weird to be older, but I am trying to take on more of a leadership role and I am excited for it,” said Frantti, who was playing with former Penn State teammates Micha Hancock and Haleigh Washington. “In the second set, I was looking at the lineup and thinking this was six, seven, eight years ago we were doing this. It has been great to play with Micah and Haleigh for all these years. It’s really a special moment for us.”

Middle blocker Washington finished with 10 points, hitting .615 with nine kills and one error in 13 total attacks, while setter Hancock led the team with three blocks, scored seven points, totaled 10 digs, and ran the offense that hit .453 with a 20-kill advantage, 51-31.

Though she usually plays outside hitter, Khalia Lanier made her debut at opposite for the U.S. Women and finished with 10 points on 10 kills while scoring the winning point in each of the final two sets.

“Khalia did a really nice job in a position she doesn’t play very much,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “Credit to (setter) Micha Hancock for having confidence in Khalia to get that kill to finish out the second set and the third.”

“I’m happy to get an opportunity, wherever it is,” Lanier said. “I think I started with two errors. I definitely had to work out some kinks. But it feels good to be on the court, no matter what position, in a USA jersey.”

Libero Morgan Hentz was one of three U.S. players with double-digit digs, leading all players with 11. Middle Asjia O’Neal finished with seven points on five kills and joining Skinner and Frantti with two blocks.

With the U.S. using its sixth different lineup in as many matches, Kiraly was encouraged by what he saw through two sets. “We haven’t been together that long and it’s not that easy. It’s the same for all the teams in VNL. You have to get it together quickly and see if we can run a really smooth offense. So far, we’ve seen some really nice glimpses,” he said.

Asked what he would deem a success apart from winning, Kiraly stated, “One thing is always that we look the same no matter whether we won the point or lost the point. No matter how great or how poor we were, we flush that and bring a really good version of ourselves to the next point.”

Canada struggles against Serbia

May 31, 2024.- Canada lost to Serbia in Volleyball Nations League action in Arlington, Texas.

Serbia outplayed Canada to win 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 25-20) as the women’s tournament heats up for all teams.

Though Canada led in attacking, 63-55, the team fell short in blocking (10-9), ace serves (6-2), and had more errors 26-17. Scoring was led by Kiera Van Ryk of Canada (20 points) and her teammate middle blocker Emily Maglio (18 points). Aleksandra Uzelac led the winning side with 19 points.

Captain Alexa Gray told VBTV: “We weren’t scoring as easy as we normally do, and we made a few too many errors in all four sets. I think we’re still trying to find our rhythm this week. But we’re still fighting with some of the best teams in the world and we must bounce back for the next match.”

After a nice 3-0 win over Germany yesterday, today’s loss puts Canada in a tight position in the battle for a Paris berth, now almost neck and neck with the Netherlands, who beat Dominican Republic earlier today, in the ranking points.

Canada has four wins and three losses so far in VNL 2024. 

Canada plays an important match against Korea on Sunday, June 02, also in Arlington.

The women’s team is still in contention to qualify for Paris 2024 via the World Rankings.

Seven women’s teams are already qualified for the Games. The remaining five places are filled by selecting the top five not yet qualified teams in the FIVB World Ranking as of the end of the preliminary phase of Volleyball Nations League.

NORCECA Members at FIVB Board of Administration Meeting

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 31, 2024.- NORCECA President Cristobal Marte Hoffiz led the NORCECA Confederation Executive committee in the FIVB Board of Administration meeting held at the FIVB headquarters on Thursday.

Cristobal Marte along with NORCECA Executive Vice Presidents, Mireya Luis (Gender in Minority) Mark Eckert (NCVA President), Glenn Quinlan (ECVA President), Felix Sabio (AFECAVOL President) and Mushtaque Mohammed (CAZOVA President), took part in the one-day meeting where significant matters were discussed.

A comprehensive overview of the 2023 financial performance was presented and various strategies and proposals of the Finance Commission were discussed, which aim at ensuring sustainable growth and financial stability.

The proposed budget for 2025-2026 was presented and discussed in detail. Key allocations were made towards development programs, major events, and strategic initiatives to foster the growth of volleyball globally.

An ambitious long-term business plan extending to 2032 was unveiled. This plan focuses on expanding the sport’s global footprint, enhancing commercial opportunities, and leveraging new technologies to engage fans.

Reports from the FIVB Empowerment and Development Commissions were presented, as well as the several proposals form the Legal Commission, which included updates to the FIVB Constitution, General Regulations, Sport Regulations, and Event Regulations.

Reports from the continental confederations (AVC, CAVB, CEV, CSV, NORCECA) highlighted regional developments, challenges, and strategic initiatives, fostering a collaborative approach to the sport’s global growth.

Proposals from various FIVB councils and commissions, including the Technical & Coaching Commission, Athletes’ Commission, Rules & Refereeing Commission, Volleyball Council, Beach Volleyball Commission, Snow Volleyball Commission, and Medical Commission, were also discussed.

The members were updated on major upcoming events, including the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), Beach ProTour, Age Groups World Championships, 2025 M & W World Championships (Volleyball and Beach Volleyball), and preparations for the Paris Olympic Games.

An update on the 39th FIVB World Congress was also discussed, ensuring the event will be a significant milestone in the sport’s calendar.

NORCECA’s involvement in the Board of Administration meeting in Lausanne was a significant step for the region, laying the groundwork for the Confederation’s future growth and success.

Peru To Battle for U17 Pan American Gold against Puerto Rico

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 31, 2024. – Peru secured its ticket to the gold medal match of the first edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup against Puerto Rico after defeating Venezuela 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 25-23 and 25-16) on Friday night in Guatemala City.

Peru advances to the gold medal match with an undefeated record of 4-0, with 12 sets won and 3 lost.

Venezuela will compete for the bronze medal against the Dominican Republic.

Brenda Quiroz PER

 In an exciting semifinal match, Peru recovered from losing the first set to claim the win, leading 58 to 40 in attack points, 11 to 10 in blocks, and 8 to 3 in service points. Peru gave away 36 points from errors and scored 24 points on Venezuela’s errors.

Peruvian middle blocker Camila Monge scored a match-high of 23 points on 17 attacks, 4 blocks, and 3 aces. Outside hitter Brenda Quiroz, who came off the bench in the first set, contributed 15 points, all on kills. Outside hitter Paola Moreano, who entered as a substitution  in the first set, added 14 points on 8 attacks, 4 blocks, and 2 aces.

Venezuelan outside hitter and team captain Gabriela Noguera was her team’s top scorer with 17 points on15 attacks and 2 blocks. Fiorellys Utrera scored 14 points on 13 attacks and one  ace.

Gabriela Noguera VEN

Venezuela took two set points from Peru in the first set and then lost one before winning the set in a dramatic finish with a block by opposite hitter Valeria Ochoa. Peru recovered, winning the second set, which was tied at 20 points, ending with an attack point from Paola Moreano. Camila Monge with a block and Brenda Quiroz with a kill closed out the third set for Peru. In the fourth set, Peru managed to get Venezuela off their system of play, jumping to a huge lead  (11-5) from the beginning.

Brazilian Antonio Rizola, coach of Peru, said that the first set was very contested and very important because it showed that his team has a great capacity for comeback, “I took the two main attackers (the captain and the other outside hitter) out of the game, and those who came off the bench responded, and with them, we won the next three sets”. He also added, “it’s a great joy because the group is still developing, and reaching the final of a Cup like this is wonderful”.

Willian Ruiz, head coach of Venezuela, stated, “Peru adjusted in the second set, and we loosened up technically, in simple things”. Regarding what happened next, he said that Peru strengthened their defense, “I think part of Peru’s victory is that they never missed the opportunity to save a ball, which gave them an edge. They have very good reception”.  He also explained that he is achieving a significant goal of returning to international competition by being among the top four teams.

Puerto Rico Head to Girls U17 Pan American Cup Gold Medal Match

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 31, 2024.- Puerto Rico advanced to the gold medal match of the first Girls U17 Pan American Cup after defeating Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-22) on Friday at Guatemala’s City Dome.

Puerto Rico reaches the championship game with a perfect 4-0 record and a 12-1 record in sets. The Puerto Ricans await their opponent, the winner between Peru and Venezuela.

Puerto Rico led in attack points (38-24) and committed fewer unforced errors (23-28). The Dominicans led in blocks (8-7) and service points (3-2).

Outside hitter Annalee Champion led her team to the semifinal with a match-high of 20 points on18 attacks and two blocks. She was joined by outside hitter Sara Lozano with 15 points on  11 attacks, two blocks, and two service points.

Annaelee Champion PUR

Dominican captain Estel Santos, with 12 points, was the only player on her team to score in double digits.

Puerto Rico quickly jumped to a huge 13-3 lead in the first set with points from Annalee Champion and Sara Lozano, combined with a considerable number of errors from the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico was always ahead in the second set, despite strong serving pressure from the Dominican Republic. In the third set, Puerto Rico recovered from a five-point deficit (15-20) thanks to three consecutive errors by the Dominican Republic, an attack by Champion, and another opponent error to tie at 20. The last two points were also on Dominican errors.

Rayni Mondesi DOM

Puerto Rican coach Juan Carlos Núñez explained that his team was able to play more steadily in this match. He said it was important that they could pressure with their serve and that his team was patient in the closing stages. “The team held on, and after many consecutive errors from the Dominican Republic, they were able to close the gap on the scoreboard, reacting with their serve”.

Puerto Rican captain Kalia Alvarado expressed that during technical timeouts, they reminded themselves to trust their game, “we did it and maintained a good spirit”.  She added that teamwork will be key for the final.

Marcelo Cezarano, coach of the Dominican Republic, said that Puerto Rico knew how to apply pressure, but mentally his team needs to mature, “it’s natural at this age, it’s a process, and things worked when they followed the game plan we had prepared”.

Cuba beats Costa Rica to face Mexico for fifth place

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 31, 2024. – Cuba defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-18) in a classification match for positions 5 to 8 in the Girls U17 Pan American Cup being played at Guatemala’s City Dome.  

Cuba will face Mexico on Saturday for fifth place in the tournament. This is the second time they clash; Mexico beat Cuba in pool-play in straight sets.

On the other hand, Costa Rica will play for seventh place against the host team, Guatemala. These two teams also faced each other in pool-play, with Costa Rica winning in four sets.

Cuba outperformed Costa Rica with a powerful attack (43-25) and a 5-2 margin in blocks. Both teams scored five points from direct serves. Cuba conceded more points on unforced errors (24-22).

Salet Castillo CUB

Cuban outside hitter Salet Castillo was the top scorer of the match with 21 points on 18 attacks, two blocks, and one ace. Team captain Yesica Brito added 15 points on14 attacks and one ace.

In the second set, Costa Rica scored five service points that put Cuba in a tough spot, managing to tie the score at 22 points after Lilliam Vargas blocked Yesica Brito with a monster block.

Yesica Brito CUB,

“We lost our momentum in the second set and Costa Rica made things difficult for us”, said Yesica Brito. She added that Cuba showed their attacking power and will do the same against Mexico. “We’ve faced them before, but we’re aiming for a different outcome because we’ve progressed with each match to reach our level of play” Brito added.

Luciana Vargas of Costa Rica, who scored three direct serve points, spoke about the second set, saying, “Costa Rica fought hard until the end, there were some very good points from Cuba, both teams made mistakes, but we never stopped chasing the balls, and in the end, they always kept their heads up”.

Regarding Costa Rica’s final match, middle blocker Heli Moreno said, “I hope we have a good tournament overall (both personally and as a team); I think we can beat Guatemala tomorrow, we already know each other”.

Mexico to Compete for Fifth Place After Defeating Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 31, 2024. – Mexico defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-6, 25-11, 25-17) and will compete for the fifth place in the Girls U17  Pan American Cup in Guatemala City.

Following a decisive victory against the host country, Mexico will face the winner between Cuba and Costa Rica on Saturday for fifth place.

Mexico used its strength to secure the win with a significant advantage of 41-12 in attack points, 6-1 in blocks, and 9-3 in points from serves. Both teams were similar in errors, with Mexico committing 18 and Guatemala 19.

Aitana Rettke MEX

Mexico’s team captain, Aitana Rettke, scored a match-high of 15 points on 11 attacks, two blocks, and two aces. Middle blocker Cyntia Palomo added 11 points on 8 attacks, two blocks, and one ace. Outside hitter Karen González finished with 10 points on 8 attacks and two aces.

Mexico

Mexican outside hitter Karen González commented that what she liked the most was her team’s spiking “we played united and gave it our all, plus we had a great attitude”. Regarding tomorrow’s match, she added, “we hope to win and dominate”.

Guatemalan setter Katherine Vaughn expressed that her team started at a low level but improved in the last set, “unfortunately, we didn’t play well, but we are satisfied with what we did in the third set”. She hopes her team will have a better attitude and end the tournament with a win in tomorrow’s match.

Dominican Republic Falls in Close Battle to Netherlands

MACAU, China, May 31, 2024. – Dominican Republic lost 1-3 (17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 17-25) to the Netherlands in what was the Caribbean team’s penultimate match in the second week of the Volleyball Nations League.

The Europeans dominated in all areas of the match with 59-52 in attacks, 11-8 in blocks, and 7-3 in serves, and they were helped by 21 points on unforced errors by the Caribbean team.

Dominican Republic was more effective with 89 positive digs compared to 71 for the Netherlands.

Yonkaira Peña DOM

For the Dominican Republic, Yonkaira Peña was the top scorer with 16 points, 15 on kills and one  block. Gaila González contributed 15 points, including 3 blocks and an ace. Vielka Peralta and Geraldine González also reached double digits with 10 points each.

Nova Marring of the Netherlands led all scorers with 21 points, 18 on kills, one block, and two  service points. Elles Dambrink contributed 16 points in the European team’s victory.

On June 1st, the Dominican Republic will conclude their week two of the Women’s VNL facing Japan.

CHF 559,000 Raised For FIVB Volleyball Foundation To Connect, Serve And Inspire

Volleyball Foundation ready to serve the world following incredible launch event at the FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne

  • The Volleyball Foundation’s mission to connect, serve and inspire commenced with a vibrant launch event at the FIVB Headquarters
  • The IOC President and Olympic Movement representatives joined members of the volleyball community and other esteemed guests for the celebration
  • A total of CHF 559,000 was raised through donations and an exciting auction, with funds set to support impactful projects across the world

 The FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday welcomed guests from the international sports community and beyond for the launch event of the Volleyball Foundation, raising over CHF 559,000 through donations and a special charity auction to support impactful volleyball projects worldwide.

Key figures from the international sports community, including leaders from the volleyball community, the Olympic Movement, local authorities, sponsors, partners and distinguished sports leaders gathered for this milestone event.

Successful Fundraising Efforts

The event featured a special charity auction conducted by Piguet Auction House, with unique volleyball memorabilia generously donated by the FIVB and legends of the game. Featuring both online and live bidding, the auction raised an incredible CHF 59,000 for the Volleyball Foundation.

Reunion. Photo FIVB

This amount, along with CHF 300,000 from the FIVB, GBP 100,000 from the CVC Foundation, and generous contributions from IOC Member KhunyingPatama Leeswadtrakul and FIVB Board of Administration Member and Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher, brought the total funds raised to CHF 559,000.

As announced by FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça F°, the FIVB plans to allocate an annual budget of CHF 1 million for the Volleyball Foundation in 2025 and 2026, pending the approval of the FIVB World Congress later this year.  

FIVB and IOC Presidents welcome guests

The night began with a powerful speech from FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça, welcoming guests and explaining how the Foundation will better connect and expand the global volleyball community of 800 million people across 222 countries.

“The Volleyball Foundation will play a vital role in promoting positive social values, helping to create a more collaborative and harmonious world,” stated the Volleyball Foundation President. “The Foundation is dedicated to creating a world where everyone has access to sport, no matter their gender, age, background or position. Where they have the opportunity to be healthy and active. To experience the joys of volleyball. And to learn important skills that will serve them throughout their lives.”

IOC President Thomas Bach. Photo FIVB

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised the initiative and thanked Dr Graça for his vision in launching the project. “Through this project, volleyball can really contribute to delivering the Olympic values and make the world a better place through sport,” he said. “The IOC already works closely with the FIVB with Olympafrica and the Olympic Refuge Foundation, and with this Foundation this excellent cooperation can be strengthened.”

Inspirational pilot projects take centre stage

During the evening, the Volleyball Foundation introduced two pilot projects: the Brahmaputra Volleyball League, a grassroots community league in Assam, India, involving over 10,000 children; and the Githurai Kimbo Volleyball Academy, which offers youth in one of Nairobi, Kenya’s most challenging slums a sanctuary through volleyball.

Diverse Volleyball Foundation Board and the Executive Director announced

The Volleyball Foundation’s independent Board was also introduced, featuring a diverse group of individuals dedicated to the Volleyball Foundation’s vision of a greater world through volleyball. 

The Board members include: 

  • Dr Ary S. Graça F°, President of the FIVB and Volleyball Foundation
  • Fabio Azevedo, General Director of the FIVB 
  • Alejandrina Mireya Luis, FIVB Executive Vice-President, and a three-time Olympic and two-time World champion 
  • Yuji Saeki, President & CEO of Mikasa, FIVB Board of Administration Member
  • Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation 
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Ayah bint Faisal of Jordan, President of the Jordan Volleyball Federation and Jordan Olympic Committee Board Member
  • Nick Clarry, CVC Managing Partner 
  • And Charles Joye serving as the Secretary of the Board.
Elizaveta Bracht, a two-time Olympic volleyball silver medalist, has been named as the Executive Director of the Volleyball Foundation.

Supporters & Ambassadors celebrated

Key supporters of the Volleyball Foundation were also announced, including renowned organisations KITT & KISS, Mikasa, Decathlon, the Qatar Foundation, Generations for Peace and the Jordan Olympic Committee.

The Volleyball Foundation President Ary Graça with (from left to right) Her Royal Highness Princess Ayah bint Faisal of Jordan, Cecilia Tait, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan. Photo FIVB

In recognition of its support, IOC Executive Board Member, Jordan Olympic Committee President and Generations For Peace Founder and Chair, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan, took to the stage and said:

“In 2004, I went to the Olympic Games in Athens with a mantra: ‘peace is greater than gold.’ In 2007, to put this into practice, we founded Generations For Peace to use the power of sport to change divided communities for the better. What the Volleyball Foundation is doing is a continuation of this work, and that is why it is an honour and a pleasure to align ourselves with the Volleyball Foundation.

“The values of respect, friendship and cooperation are all lessons from sport. Volleyball is so well positioned because it has these values, alongside communication and coordination. These are key in transforming societies and communities that are suffering. As President Ary S. Graça said, together we can make a difference. And this Foundation will make a difference.”

Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti was also present at the event, and stated:

“As the President of ASOIF, I have had the privilege to work with the FIVB and Dr Ary S. Graça for five years. What he has done tonight through the Volleyball Foundation, is to create an organisation for the grassroots, social and community benefit, and this is very important. The Volleyball Foundation sets a model for others, and I wish it every success.”

The event also introduced ambassadors for the Volleyball Foundation, all of whom are true legends of the sport. These include Mireya Luis from Cuba, a three-time Olympic champion and two-time World Champion; Vlad Grbic from Serbia, an Olympic champion; and Giba from Brazil, an Olympic champion and three-time World Champion.

The FIVB Volleyball Foundation is also proud to announce that the official notary signing ceremony took place this week in Lausanne, Switzerland, marking the formal establishment of the organisation that will serve the world through volleyball.

For more information about the FIVB Volleyball Foundation and how to get involved, please visit https://volleyballfoundation.com/ and follow us on Instagram at @volleyball.foundation. 

FIVB Executive Committee Praises Organisation’s Success

May 30, 2024.- The FIVB Executive Committee this week praised the incredible successes of the sport’s governing body during its meeting at the FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Executive Committee congratulated FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° and the professional team he has built on their outstanding contributions and for creating an exciting and lasting legacy for the sport during his mandate.

During the meeting, the FIVB President said:

“During my Presidency, all our actions have been guided by two key principles: Innovation and Opportunity! The FIVB has strived to innovate both on and off the court, while providing even more opportunities for our 222 National Federations, alongside our players, coaches, fans and valuable stakeholders.”

The members met to study the FIVB financial reports and the legal presentation, as well several other topics to make recommendations to the Board of Administration.

The FIVB Board of Administration meeting will get underway the same afternoon before continuing the next day.

A tidy win for Canada in VNL action

May 30, 2024.- Canada’s women’s team made a statement today with a 3-0 sweep of Germany in Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in Arlington, Texas. 

The set scores were 25-20, 25-15, 25-22. Canada led in attacking (54-40), blocking (8-3), serving (7-3), but had five more errors than Germany.

“We took care of business today,” said head coach Shannon Winzer. “Our game plan was to take out the German middle attack and it starts with service pressure and then finishes with our executing our blocking assignments. The team did a great job of following the game plan and everyone did their jobs today.”

Canada vs Germany


Canada’s Alexa Gray led scoring with 19 points; followed by teammates Kiera Van Ryk with 15, including three aces, and Emily Maglio also with 15 points. Lena Stigrot led Germany in scoring with 11 points.

Canada has four wins and two losses so far in this VNL season.

Setter Brie O’Reilly told VBTV post-match: “I was expecting us to fight really hard; we know how important this week is. I felt like we approached this game focused, point by point and like we were on a mission!”

Concluded Winzer: “It was a very good game and hopefully something we can continue to build on to take on Serbia tomorrow.”

Canada plays 7th-ranked Serbia on Friday, also in Texas, at 4:30 local; 5:30 pm ET.

The women’s team is still in contention to qualify for Paris 2024 via the World Rankings.

Dominican Republic Will Face Puerto Rico in Semifinals

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 30, 2024. – Dominican Republic defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-19, 25-20 and 25-22) in quarterfinals and will face Puerto Rico in the semifinals of the inaugural U17 Girls Pan American Cup being held in Guatemala City.

Dominican Republic will meet Puerto Rico on Friday in the first semifinal of the day at 6:00 pm (local time). In the other semifinal, Peru will face Venezuela at 8:00 pm (local time).

Costa Rica will compete in the classification matches for positions 5 to 8, starting with Cuba.

Estel Santos DOM, spikes

Dominican Republic capitalized their victory with advantages in attacks (39-32), blocks (8-4), and aces (5-3). The Dominicans committed one less error than Costa Rica (22-23).

Dominican team captain, Estel Santos, led all scorers with 15 points, all from attacks. Opposite hitter Rayni Mondesi added 11 points on 10 attacks, a match-high of 5 blocks, and one ace.

Costa Rica’s opposite hitter Amanda Campos led her team with 12 points from 10 attacks and two blocks.

Amanda Campos CRC

Opposite Isabella Cerda scored the last point of the match with a direct attack. Costa Rica did not allow the Dominican Republic to advance easily, but the Dominicans secured the victory with greater power and reach.

Brazilian Christian López, coach of Dominican Republic, said that Costa Rica surprised them; their serves didn’t have the power they had today, “we studied Costa Rica very well, and today their serves complicated our performance. I had planned to play more with the middles, but that threw us off balance”. Regarding his team, he explained, “we have a lot to improve on, for example, my team must play with strength regardless of the opponent. Today they didn’t do that, and I want them to play the same way they did against Mexico”. He added that it is a process, the players are young, and they will improve.

Costa Rica’s libero, Jimena Alfaro, said that her team has all the talent to face teams more powerful than them, “we have trained a lot, we didn’t get the results we expected, and overall the match was good, but the power and height of the Dominican Republic put us at a disadvantage”.

Venezuela Snatch Semifinal Spot

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 30, . – Venezuela defeated Mexico 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 27-25) in quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals of the inaugural U17 Girls Pan American Cup at the Dome in Guatemala City.

Venezuela awaits its semifinal opponent, depending on the result between Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Mexico will compete in the classification round for positions 5 to 8.

Venezuela dominated only in aces (9-5) but scored 33 points on Mexico’s errors while conceding just 17. Mexico held advantages in attacks (56-47) and blocks (13-9).

Forellys Utrera VEN, attacks

Fiorellys Utrera once again led Venezuela’s attack, leading all scorers with 25 points on 22 attacks, 2 blocks, and one  ace. Team captain Gabriel Noguera contributed 14 points on 12 attacks, one block, and one ace.

Mexico’s captain, Aitana Rettke, led her team with 20 points on 19 attacks and one block. Outside hitter Karen Gonzalez and middle blocker Brenda Esquivel scored 16 and 13 points, respectively.

Aitana Rettke MEX

Venezuela was dominant in the first set, quickly jumping to a five-point lead and maintaining it until the end, despite losing a set point to Aitana Rettke at the net. They closed the second set with two consecutive opponent errors and a powerful kill by Fiorellys Utrera. Mexico stayed alive forcing a fourth set, dominating the third in attacks (16-10). Venezuela won the match in a dramatic finish after losing four match points and finally ending with an ace by opposite hitter Isabel Ochoa.

“Heart” was the key to Venezuela’s victory, said coach Ignacio Sánchez. He added that they had studied Mexico thoroughly and worked with the future in mind, “our expectation was to gain experience, and now we find ourselves among the top four in the tournament. The girls played with attitude, demonstrating their capability, ” he added.

Italy Defeats Dominican Republic in VNL

MACAO, China, May 30, 2024 – Dominican Republic lost 0-3 (12-25, 19-25, 21-25) to Italy in their second match of the second week of the 2024 Women’s Volleyball Nations League.

The Italian team outperformed the Queens of the Caribbean in all aspects of the game, leading 40-25 in attacks, 8-1 in blocks, and 6-3 in serves. They also capitalized on the 23 unforced errors by the Caribbean team to secure the victory.

Vielka Peralta and Gaila González were the top scorers for the Dominican Republic with 7 points each, while Italian Paola Ogechi Egonu stood out with 20 points.

Dominican Republic has now recorded 4 losses and 2 wins in the 2024 VNL. On May 31, they will face the Netherlands, and they will conclude the second week on June 1 against Japan.

Puerto Rico Earns Direct Ticket to the U17 Pan American Cup Semifinals

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 29, 2024.- Puerto Rico defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-16, 25-13 y 25-20) and secured a direct ticket to the semifinals of the first Girls U17 Pan American Cup being held in Guatemala City.

Puerto Rico finished first in Pool B with an undefeated record (3-0) and advanced directly to Friday’s semifinals. Guatemala (0-3) will compete in the matches for positions 5 to 8.

Venezuela (2-1) finished second and Costa Rica (1-2) finished third in the group. Both teams will play in Thursday’s quarterfinals, with Venezuela facing Mexico and Costa Rica playing against the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Rico celebrates

Puerto Rico was dominant in attacks (28-19) and in direct service points (14-8). Both teams scored 5 blocking points. Puerto Rico committed 17 errors while Guatemala totaled 18.

Three Puerto Rican players scored  double digits, Kalia Alvarado with 13 points, including a match-high of 6 aces, Annalee Champion with 12 points, and Sara Lozano tallied 10 points.

Opposite hitter Melissa Guerra was the only Guatemalan player to score double digits, with 11 points on 7 attacks and a team-high of 4 aces.

Guatemala surprised Puerto Rico in the third set, tying the score at points 15, 16, 19, and 20; but their efforts fell short as the winners scored five consecutive points to secure the victory.

Annalee Champion PUR, attacks

Puerto Rico’s coach, Juan Carlos Núñez, spoke about the team’s performance in the preliminary round, “this is a group that is getting to know each other, there are eight players who weren’t at the NORCECA in Honduras, and they all had the opportunity to be on the court”.  He stated that in this game, there was a chance to use all twelve players, “I am evaluating them in this setting; it’s preparation for the World Championship, and now we need to raise our level of play for the semifinals”.

Guatemala’s opposite hitter, Melissa Guerra, explained that the team has started very cold in all the games, and today was no exception, “it’s possible we have the mentality that we can’t face the opponent and today we got into our system very late”. For the upcoming games, she said, “we need to give our best from the beginning, improve our reception, and have more confidence”.

Venezuela Beats Costa Rica in Four Sets

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 29, 2024. – Venezuela beat Costa Rica 3-1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-12) on Wednesday at the Girls U17 Pan American Cup at the Multi-sports Dome in Guatemala City.

Venezuela finished Group B with a 2-1 record, and Costa Rica with a 1-2 record. Both teams await the result between Puerto Rico, which is undefeated, and Guatemala (0-2).

Venezuela led in attack points 59 to 38 and in blocks 7 to 4. Costa Rica controlled the serves  4-2 but gave away 28 points on errors compared to 21 by Venezuela.

Isabela Sibada VEN, celebrates

Venezuela’s outside hitter Fiorellys Utrera led all scorers with 17 points on15 attacks, one block, and one ace. Also contributing to Venezuela’s victory were middle blocker Isabela Sibada with 15 points on 14 attacks and one block, and team captain Gabriela Noguera with 13 points, all on kills.

Costa Rica’s opposite Amanda Campos, was the team’s leading scorer with 13 points on 12 attacks and one block. Outside hitter Michelle Arias added 11 points on 10 attacks and one block.

In the first set, Costa Rica scored five consecutive points (6-12) and then tied at 19 with two consecutive aces from Nadia Granados. At 21 points even, Costa Rica maintained their attack to win the first set. Venezuela responded strongly, taking the next three sets, and securing their second victory in the event.

Gabriela Noguera VEN, defense

Venezuelan outside hitter Fiorellys Utrera explained that they lacked communication in the first set, but despite that, they won the following sets, “we came out strong, connected as a team, and supported each other to limit our errors”. She added that the team had a positive attitude, which was key to their victory.

Argentinian Christian López, coach of Costa Rica, expressed that his team finished pool-play  well, “we could have done better things, but the team is in a learning process”. He also said that they paid a high price for their mistakes, “It’s not possible to maintain the level of play all the time because they’re not used to it, but I think they are trying to do things very well”.

Dominican Republic Dominates Cuba at U17 Pan Am Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 29, 2024.- The Dominican Republic dominated Cuba 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-11) in the final match of pool-play at the Girls’ U17 Pan American Cup held at Guatemala City’s Dome.

Dominican Republic finished second in Pool A with a 2-1 record and will play in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The first place of the pool went to Peru (3-0), and third place to Mexico (1-2).

Cuba, with a 0-3 record, will play in classification matches for positions 5 to 8.

Both teams were equal in attacks (28 points) and blocks (8 points). Dominican Republic led in aces (8-2) and scored 31 points on Cuba’s errors, while conceding 18.

Estel Santos DOM, attacks

Team captain Estel Santos and opposite Rayni Mondesi were the top scorers for Dominican Republic with 11 points each. Middle blocker Cristal Mercedes collected 9 points, including a match-high of 4 blocks.

The top scorer of the match was Cuba’s Salet Castillo, with 13 points on 11 attacks and two blocks.

Rayni Mondesi DOM, attacks

In the second set, Cuba failed to maintain a four-point lead (13-17) and despite avoiding two set points for the Dominicans (21-24) thanks to two errors, they couldn’t close the set. Dominican Republic dominated the third set without complications.

“There was greater harmony among us in the third set”, said Dominican libero Nashly Lithgow. Speaking about Cuba, she said that Cuba managed to pressure them with attacks and blocks in the first two sets. “I think yesterday’s victory against Mexico gave us more confidence”, she added.

The top scorer of the match, Salet Castillo of Cuba, indicated that Dominican Republic played strongly and about the first two sets she highlighted, “our reception worked well, allowing us to attack with strength, combined with the team’s good spirits”. Speaking about how they dropped in the third set, she said, “definitely, if the team’s spirits had remained high, the outcome could have been better. We need to work on that”.

Perú Wins Pool A Undefeated

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 29, 2024,- Peru won Pool A undefeated after defeating Mexico 3-1 (25-22, 29-27, 21-25, 25-22) at the Girls’ U17 Pan American Cup on Wednesday in Guatemala City.

Peru ended pool-play with a 2-0 record and advanced to Friday’s semifinals. Mexico, with a 1-2 record, awaits the result between the Dominican Republic and Cuba to determine their final position in Pool A.

Despite Mexico leading in attacks (56-54) and blocks (12-9), Peru secured the victory by committing fewer errors (25-32) and an advantage in aces (5-3).

Perú defense

Peru’s team captain, Ariana Vásquez, led all scorers with 19 points (17 attacks, two serves). Outside hitter Gianella Chanca contributed 15 points (13 attacks, one block, one serve), and middle blocker Camila Monge scored 13 points (12 attacks, one block).

Outside hitter Karen González led Mexico with 17 points (14 attacks, two blocks, one serve). Middle blocker Kiara Ramírez recorded a match-high of six blocks of her 16 points. Captain Aitana Rettke added 15 points (14 attacks, one serve).

Mexico trailed the entire first set, unable to stop Peru’s offense. The Peruvians, coming from behind, won a dramatic second set after both teams lost two set points. Mexico managed to extend the match, jumping to an early five-point lead in the third set. Despite sharing the lead in the fourth set, Peru clinched the victory with fewer errors.

Karen Gonzalez MEX

Gianella Chanca, Peru’s outside hitter, said it was a very demanding match, “Mexico pressured us in every set”. She indicated that it was a beautiful game despite the pressure and anxiety on the court for both teams, “we made a great effort as a team; the second set was very tough, but we are following Professor Rizola’s instructions, who talks to us about responsibility both on and off the court. We are doing it to the letter and doing our job well”.

Mexico’s coach, Ignacio Sánchez Palmeros, expressed, “after yesterday’s loss, we aimed to regain the players’ confidence. We used different players and had a good match”.  Regarding the loss, he indicated, “I believe the team lacks maturity, but we will give it our all in the rest of the competition; we are aiming for more matches and more experience”.

Dominican Republic falls to Thailand to Start Week Two of the VNL

MACAO, China, May 28, 2024. – The Dominican Republic ended up losing 1 set to 3 (22-25, 25-20, 17-25, and 24-26) against Thailand, at the start of the second week of the Women’s Volleyball Nations League.

Dominican Republic has a record of 2-3 and their next opponent will be Italy on Thursday, May 30 (12:30 Eastern Time).

Yonkaira Peña DOM

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Thailand was superior to the Caribbean Queens in almost all areas of play, with a 64-61 advantage in attacks and a 5-4 advantage in blocks. They also capitalized on the 23 Dominican unforced errors. The Caribbean team performed better in serving, with 5 aces compared to 4 from the Asians.

Dominican Gaila González was the top scorer of the match with 20 points, 18 on kills and two on blocks. Yonkaira Peña contributed 18 points, and Jineiry Martínez was the third with double digits, scoring 10 points.

The top scorer for Thailand was Hattaya Bamrungsuk with 17 points, consisting of 13 attacks, 2 blocks, and 2 serves. Wipawee Srithong added 16 points to Thailand’s victory.

USA Return Home to Defeat Canada in 2024 VNL Second Round Opener

ARLINGTON, Texas, May 28, 2024.- Playing in front of the home fans in Arlington, United States  opened the second round of Volleyball Nations League preliminary play with a 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 25-20) victory over Canada on Tuesday night.

The United States  (3-2) will return to the court to face Bulgaria (0-4) on Friday, May 31, at 6 p.m. PT/8 p.m. CT.

Canada, which is fighting for a berth at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris based on its world ranking, fell to 3-2. The next match for Canada is Germany on May 30 at 17:00 Eastern time (16:00 local time in Arlington, Texas).

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Outside hitter Kathryn Plummer made her 2024 VNL debut and scored a team-high 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (12 points, two blocks, one ace) and opposite Jordan Thompson (13 kills, one block, one ace) each contributed 15 points.

USA

Middle blockers Dana Rettke and Asjia O’Neal, who were both making their 2024 VNL debuts, had a combined 17 points and five blocks, each finishing with six kills. Rettke posted a team-high three blocks. 

“We had our hands full tonight (with Canada),” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “This was only really day 4 for us together because we had a lot of people finish late in the pro season in Europe… It’s going to be rough and it’s not always going to look pretty, but that’s OK.”

Canada finished with a 59-52 advantage in kills, but the U.S. made only 11 errors in the match, while Canada totaled 33.

Outside hitter Alexa Gray led all scorers with 20 kills and 23 points, while teammate Kiera Van Ryk totaled 17 kills and 20 points. Emily Maglio was also solid for Canada in the middle with eight attack points and three blocks. 

“It’s tough to beat a top team in the world when you make 33 errors,” explains Canada’s head coach, Shannon Winzer. “We have a few things we need to clean up, but we also continue to do a lot right, and we are still in a good position for a strong round. Going into our next game against Germany we want to go back to controlling the ‘controllables’ and being patient in attack. Our subs continue to do a great job for us and our whole team is willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done.”

Venezuela storms past Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 28, 2024 – Venezuela stormed past 3-0 (25-17, 25-15 y 25-8) over host Guatemala at the first edition of the Girls  U17 Pan American Cup on Tuesday night at the Multi-sports Dome  in Guatemala City.

This was Venezuela’s first win in Pool B, and with a 1-1 record, they will conclude the pool-play  against Costa Rica (1-1). Guatemala (0-2) will finish against Puerto Rico (2-0).

The pool winner will advance directly to the semifinals; the second and third places will compete in quarterfinals.

Forellys Utrera VEN, Defense

Venezuela held a huge 10 to 2 advantage in service points and a convincing 34 to 22 margin in attack points; they also scored 27 points from Guatemalan errors and conceded 12. The teams tied in blocking at 4-4.

Venezuelan outside hitter Fiorellys Utrera led all scorers with 13 points (8 attacks, 2 blocks, one ace). She was accompanied by team captain Gabriela Noguera with 11 points (9 attacks, one block, one ace).

Natalia Perez GUA, attacks

Opposite hitter Melissa Guerra scored 11 points (10 attacks, 1 ace) as Guatemala’s top scorer.

William Ruiz, coach of Venezuela, said he was pleased that they could compete internationally again after a break in all categories. Ruiz explained that his team made their debut yesterday against the group favorite, and it was not easy, “the team is young, and we are building for the future, and today they showed more confidence compared to yesterday”. Regarding the match against Guatemala, he said, “they challenged us in the first set and the second set was tricky. We appreciate the effort of our Federation for allowing us to be here”.

Guatemala’s coach, Celeste Cifuentes, said that today the team came with more confidence after the first match, “playing at home took a toll on us, but as the match progressed, the girls realized they could give more. We knew today that Venezuela is a taller team with international experience”. She added that the team’s development process continues and that this is their first international experience.

Puerto Rico earns Second Win at U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 28, 2024.- Puerto Rico defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-18) for their second win at the Girls U17 Pan American Cup being held in Guatemala City.

Puerto Rico remains undefeated with a 2-0 record in Pool B, while Costa Rica has a 1-1 record. On Wednesday, Puerto Rico will conclude pool-play against Guatemala, and Costa Rica will face Venezuela.

Puerto Rico recovered from a four-point deficit (11-15) in the second set, and then the lead  went to both sides; they won the set with an opponent error. In the third set, with Puerto Rico leading 21-14, Costa Rica scored four consecutive points from attacks by Amanda Campos and opponent errors, reaching 21-18. Puerto Rico closed the set with a Costa Rican error and two points from Diangelie Gonzalez, who only played the third set.

Sara Lozano PUR, attacks

Puerto Rico controlled all the game statistically, 38-30 in attacks, 9-3 in blocks, and 4-3 in aces. Additionally, Puerto Rico committed fewer unforced errors (21-24).

Outside hitters Sara Lozano and Annalee Champion scored 13 points each for Puerto Rico. Lozano on 11 attacks, one block, and one ace; Champion on 10 attacks, two blocks, and one service point.

Opposite hitter Amanda Campos and outside hitter Nicole Leiva led Costa Rica with 8 points each.

Nicole Leiva CRC, defense

“Costa Rica attacked us a lot with serves in the second set,” said Puerto Rico’s Sara Lozano. “We were able to save the set with communication and teamwork,” she added. Lozano believes that the team’s unity and trust in their coach are Puerto Rico’s greatest strengths. Regarding the last match of pool-play, she said, “we will do our best and go all out from the beginning”.

Amanda Campos from Costa Rica said, “we were able to control most of the second set, but I think we don’t know how to stay calm in moments of crisis. Today’s game was faster and more demanding than yesterday’s”. Regarding the end of the preliminary round, she said, “we don’t see it impossible; Venezuela is taller than us, but we are motivated because last year at the NORCECA we defeated Cuba, so we believe in ourselves”.

Peru remains undefeated in U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 28, 2024.- Peru defeated Cuba 3-1 (25-15, 19-25, 25-18, 25-17) to remain undefeated in the first Girls U17 Pan American Cup being held at the Mult-sports Dome in Guatemala City.

Peru has a 2-0 record in Pool A and will end the preliminary round against Mexico (1-1); Cuba, with a 0-2 record, will face Dominican Republic (1-1). The pool winner will advance directly to the semifinals.

Peruvian middle Camila Monge ended the match blocking Cuban Yesica Brito’s powerful kill.

Ariana Vasquez PER, serves

Peru’s advantage in serves (11-2) was crucial for securing the victory. Peru also had a 9-3 advantage in blocks and committed fewer errors (20-34). Cuba led in attacks 50 to 40.

The top scorer of the match was Peru’s team captain, Ariana Vásquez, with 20 points on 14 attacks, one block, and a match-high of 5 aces. Outside hitters Gianella Chanca and Brenda Quiroz also contributed to win, Chanca scored 14 points on 13 attacks and one block, while Quiroz had 11 points on 9 attacks, one block, and one ace.

Opposite hitter Salet Castillo led Cuba with 19 points, all from kills, and Yesica Brito contributed 18 points, also all from kills.

Salet Castillo CUB, attacks

Brazilian coach Antonio Rizola, recently hired to lead Peru, expressed great joy because his team has two wins in two matches, “the team is learning to have courage and to overcome difficult moments”. Reflecting on yesterday’s second set against the Dominican Republic, the team managed to recover, “it was a moment when the result could have been different, and today we lost a set to Cuba, but overcame to win the match”.  Rizola added that he remains grounded “there is a lot to do to learn to play volleyball”.

Cuban captain Yesica Brito said her team looked much better today, “we improved from yesterday’s match to today, corrected our mistakes, but today we lacked spirit and in difficult moments, we couldn’t finish”. Brito also highlighted that the team supported each other on the court, “it’s a loss that hurts, but we played as a team”.

Cayman Islands gets better of T&T for FIVB U19 Girls ticket

BLACKROCK, Tobago, May 26, 2024.- Cayman Islands’ Joanna Robinson and Luna Ebanks emerged as champions of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA)/Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) FIVB World Championship Under-19 Beach Volleyball Qualifiers to qualify to the Worlds’ main draw with unbeaten 4-0 record at the end of their five-team round-robin series.

With only the winner of the round-robin series securing a direct ticket to the FIVB World Championship main draw and the second and third placed teams to the qualification draw.

Robinson/Ebanks and Trinidad and Tobago’s L’fe Roberts and Meeka Johnson began the final day of the qualifiers both with 2-0 win-loss records and the main contenders to the automatic main draw spot for the Worlds’ event in China from August 27 to September 1.

Roberts and Johnson then improved to 3-0 when they beat Jewel Austin and Marilyn Gill of Barbados 2-0 (21-12, 21-19) while Robinson and Ebanks did likewise courtesy their defeat of Celine Hankey and Makayla Mason of Grenada 2-0 (21-5, 21-8).

And in the penultimate match of the girl’s competition, Robinson and Ebanks overcame Roberts and Johnson in the winner-take-all clash 2-1 (21-9, 11-21, 15-9) to punch their tickets to the automatic main draw while T&T ended second with a 3-1 record to earn one of the two spots to the qualification draw in China.

Joining Cayman Islands and T&T on the trip to China will be Naya Whitfield and Davy-Ann Eduards of Aruba after they outplayed Hankey and Mason (GRN) 2-0 (21-11, 21-15) to finish with the same record as Barbados, but with a better points-won to points-loss ratio of 0.9178 to 0.8224 while Grenada ended winless from their four matches.

On Saturday, Robinson and Ebanks defeated Aruba 2-0 (21-9, 21-10) and Barbados 2-0 (21-9, 21-7) while the T&T duo, veterans of the Commonwealth Youths Games at the same venue last year beat Aruba 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) and Grenada 2-0 (21-10, 21-2).

Dominican Republic defeats Mexico in Straight Sets

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 28, 2024.-  Dominican Republic defeated Mexico 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-15) on the second day of action at the first Girls U17 Pan American Cup being held in Guatemala City.

Dominican Republic and Mexico both have a 1-1 record in Pool A. The Dominicans will finish the pool-play against Cuba, while Mexico will face Peru. Pool winners will advance directly to the semifinals, with the second and third place teams competing in the quarterfinals.

Dominican Republic was dominant throughout the match, to cancel out Mexico, which struggled to respond.

Estel Santos, DOM spikes

The Dominicans capitalized their victory with advantages in attacks (37-25), blocks (8-1), and aces (8-2), but committed more errors (26-22).

Two Dominican players finished with double-digits, Virelys Rivera with 14 points  on 10 kills, two blocks, and two aces, and team captain Estel Santos with 12 points on 11 kills and one block. Opposite hitter Rayni Mondesi contributed 9 points.

Aitana Rettke with 9 points was the top scorer for Mexico.

Karen Gonzalez, MEX, defense

Compared to their loss yesterday against Peru, Dominican captain Estel Santos said, “today our spirit was much better, we also played as a team with a lot of communication”.  Regarding the win, she expressed, “we studied Mexico and knew how to control them with directed serves, which helped us succeed”.

Brazilian Marceo Cezarano, coach of the Dominican Republic explained that things went well, saying, “today we saw what we have been training for, a strong level”.  He also indicated that they studied Mexico very well, “we changed our system, nullified player number 13 (Aitama Rettke), even when they moved her from outside hitter to middle, and we knew how to control her”.

Mexico’s setter, Gabriela Garza, summarized the defeat by saying, “our reception failed, our attitude was off, and we let the Dominicans take control”.

Mexico’s coach Ignacio Sánchez Palmeros acknowledged that the team had a bad match and there was overconfidence from both the team and the technical staff, “this will serve to bring the players down to earth, and if we have the quality, we can recover and finish the competition well”.

St Lucia tops T&T for automatic FIVB Boys U19 World Beach spot

BLACKROCK, TOBAGO, MAY 26, 2024.-   Rio Jaden Victor and Peter Emmanuel of St Lucia earned the lone automatic spot to the upcoming FIVB World Championship Under-19 Beach Volleyball Tournament.

This after the duo beat host Trinidad and Tobago’s Jerome Morrison, and Darion Sparks 2-0  in the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA)/Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) FIVB World Championship Boys’ Under-19 Beach Volleyball Qualifiers final at the Courland Beach Sports Facility 21-19, 21-12 in 43 minutes to stun the host duo.

Earlier in the semifinals, Victor and Emmanuel swept past Jedediah Pencheon, and Julian Bristol of St Kitts/Nevis 2-0 (21-15, 21-7) and Morrison/Sparks battled past Dylan Lynee and William Duty of Cayman Islands 2-0 (21-18, 21-15).

When the two-day tournament resumed on Sunday morning following Saturday’s round-robin group stage and round-of-12 playoff matches, Victor and Emmanuel defeated Grenada’s Javon Charles and Kibose Hamilton 2-0 (21-9, 21-10) in their quarterfinal while Pencheon and Bristol rallied past Jamaal Key Jr and Raphael Kemp of Bahamas 2-1 (21-10, 20-22, 15-5); Lynee and Duty topped Kalen Applewhaite and Cael Greenidge of Barbados 2-0 (23-21, 21-14), and Ange Gaspard Volckaert and Lucas Berard of Martinique humbled Morrison and Sparks (2-1) 6-21, 21-17, 15-10.

However, due to Martinique being an affiliate on France they are not allowed to qualify for FIVB World Championship as a regional member country, which meant that T&T was then pitted against the next highest ranked team among the losing quarterfinalists, Bahamas for a second shot at making the semifinals, which T&T won 2-0 (21-6, 21-18).

Despite losing the final and the direct ticket to the FIVB World Championship main draw in China, T&T along with third placed finishers Pencheon and Bristol (who outlasted Lynee and Duty in their playoff 2-1 (17-21, 21-15,15-11) will still have a chance to qualify to the main draw after securing the two spots available to the qualification draw which also takes place in China from August 27 to September 1.

On Saturday, St Lucia, T&T, Cayman Islands, and St Kitts/Nevis all topped their respective round-robin pools to advance to the quarterfinals of the with perfect records.

Playing under overcast conditions which was to the players liking Morrison, who participated at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games at the same venue, and Sparks overcame British Virgins Islands’ Jason Dunkley Maduro and  Alexander 2-0 (21-6, 21-7), and Grenada 2-0 (21-5, 21-15) to finish with a 2-0 record in Group A while Grenada defeated British Virgin Islands 21-16, 21-1 for the runner-up spot to qualify to the last-eight

In Group B, St Lucia (LCA) also ended with a 2-0 record in group play courtesy of victories against Martinique 2-0 (215, 21-14), and Antigua and Barbuda’s 2-0 (21-6, 21-5)

Volckaert and Berard took the second spot in the pool after beating Antigua and Barbuda 2-0 (21-12, 21-6).

Group C comprised only two teams with St Kitts/Nevis beating Barbados 2-0 (22-20, 21-15) to advance to the quarterfinals while Cayman Islands won Group D after beating Bahamas 2-0 (21-16, 211-6).

And in the round-of-12 Bahamas got the better of British Virgin Islands 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 15-12) and Barbados won 2-1 (13-21, 21-14, 17-15) against Antigua and Barbuda.

Costa Rica Off to a Good Start at U17 Pan Am Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 27, 2024.- Costa Rica started the first edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup defeating Guatemala 3-1 (25-12, 25-13, 23-25, 28-26) on Monday night at the Multi-sports Dome in Guatemala City.

On the second day of the event, Costa Rica (1-0) in Group B will face Puerto Rico (1-0), while Guatemala (0-1) will play against Venezuela (0-1).

Costa Rica had no difficulties winning the first two sets comfortably. Guatemala forced a fourth set after a remarkable 8-point comeback (15-23) in the third. Costa Rica earned a dramatic win after losing two match points on a service error and a powerful attack by Guatemalan Andrea Garces, who later handed the victory to Costa Rica with an attack error.

Costa Rica led in attack points 51-33 and in service points 9-5. Guatemala outperformed in blocking 12-6. Costa Rica had fewer errors 26-35.

Costa Rica celebrate

Michelle Arias led the scores with 22 points on 16 attacks, 2 blocks, and a match-high of 4 direct serving points. Nicole Leiva added 16 points on 15 attacks and one ace. Opposite player Amanda Campos scored 12 points.

Opposite Melissa Guerra was the only one to score double digits for Guatemala with 12 points.

Lilliam Vargas, captain of Costa Rica, said, “we were determined, it was very intense and hard-fought.” Regarding the difference in the set results, she added, “I feel that losing the third set affected us mentally and gave Guatemala more confidence; tomorrow we will play well, with determination, and we will give our all on the court.”

“We improved as the match developed; we were quite nervous, and it was a slow start”, said Regina Porres, captain of Guatemala. She also expressed that they managed to demonstrate what they have practiced and that they are in good condition, “we fought hard, but unfortunately, we didn’t get the result.”

Puerto Rico starts the U17 Pan American Cup beating Venezuela

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 27, 2024.- Puerto Rico defeated Venezuela 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21) in their opening match of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup being held at the Multi-sport Dome in Guatemala City.

On the second day in Group B, Puerto Rico (1-0) will face Costa Rica and Venezuela (0-1) will play against the host country, Guatemala.

In a match that lasted a little over two hours (2:13), Puerto Rico managed to overcome Venezuela with a significant advantage in blocks (11-3) and attack points (57-47). Venezuela held an advantage in aces (5-3) and scored 32 points through Puerto Rico’s unforced errors while giving up 22 points on their own errors.

Puerto Rico’s outside hitter Annalee Champion led all scorers with 22 points on 20 attacks and 2 blocks. Outside hitter and team captain Kalia Alvarado contributed 20 points on 17 attacks, 2 blocks, and one ace. Additionally, Sara Lozano added 14 points on 11 attacks and 3 blocks.

Valeria Ochoa VEN

Opposite hitter Valeria Ochoa and outside hitter Gabriela Noguera led Venezuela with 12 points each.

Kalia Alvarado, captain of Puerto Rico, said that at the beginning of the match they were a bit tense, “as we gained confidence, we were able to perform well”. Regarding what she thought they did well, she said, “our focus and spirit were the best aspects for today’s victory, but we need to improve on reception and decision-making”.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s captain, Gabriela Noguera, expressed that they did a good job today. “Considering it was the first match, we did well”. She said that the set they won was because they had a better attitude, “our attitude must be consistent throughout the match, but we need to limit the number of errors”.

Mexico Opens U17 Pan American Cup with Victory over Cuba

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 27, 2024.- Mexico opened their participation in the first U17 Girls Pan American Cup with a 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-14, 25-20) over Cuba at the Multi-Sport Dome in Guatemala City.

Mexico (1-0) will face Dominican Republic (0-1) in their second match of Pool A, while Cuba (0-1) will play against Peru (1-0).

In the third set, Mexico came from behind (6-10), scoring four consecutive points through Cuban errors to tie at 10 points. Mexico sealed the victory in straight sets with determined kills from Karen González and Aitana Rettke.

Mexico led in attacks 35 to 22 and in aces 7 to 3. Cuba led in blocks 5 to 4 and committed 29 unforced errors compared to Mexico’s 21.

Salet Castillo CUB, defense

Only two players scored double digits, Mexico’s captain Aitana Rettke with 17 points (16 kills, one block) and Cuba’s outside hitter Salet Castillo with 14 points (10 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces).

Aitana Rettke, Mexico’s captain, explained that they have a great responsibility being the current NORCECA champions, but they felt very confident in the first match, “we started very well, a strong three-set victory gives us greater confidence”. Regarding the coach’s substitutions, she said, “We all contribute to the team, each of us has different skills and sometimes a change is needed, and the result was accomplished”.

Mexico’s coach Ignacio Sánchez Palmeros expressed that part of the process is that the team does not maintain high intensity levels throughout the match, “we need to work on that; one way is through substitutions that risk the result but help them grow as a team, raising the level of volleyball in Mexico and showing that they must give their all”. He added that the team dreams big.

Cuba’s captain, Yesica Brito, said that her team did well in reception, but their performance was not as expected due to nerves, “this was the first match and it was against a strong team, the NORCECA champions; what went wrong today will not happen again”.

Three Texans, Seven Olympians on VNL Roster

ARLINGTON, Texas, May 27, 2024.- Three players from Texas and seven Olympic gold medalists are on the roster for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the second round of the Volleyball Nations League, May 28-June 2 in Arlington, Texas.

Volleyball Nations League is the world’s premier annual international indoor volleyball tournament. The top 16 teams in the world play four matches a week for three weeks of preliminary competition. The top eight teams at the end of the preliminaries will go to the Final Round.

The U.S. Women went 2-2 in their first week of play in Rio de Janeiro. In Arlington, they will face Canada (3-1), Bulgaria (0-4), Poland (4-0) and Türkiye (2-2).

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Middle blockers Chiaka Ogbogu and Asjia O’Neal and outside hitter Avery Skinner, who all grew up in Texas, will be on the roster for Arlington.

Ogbogu is a 2020 Olympic gold medalist who grew up in Coppell, Texas, and played for the University of Texas.

O’Neal grew up in Southlake, Texas, and has won two NCAA National Championships with the University of Texas.

Skinner grew up in Katy, Texas, and played at the University of Kentucky, where she won an NCAA National Championship, and later at Baylor.

Olympic gold medalists who are joining Ogbogu on the roster are setters Micha Hancock and Jordyn Poulter, libero Justine Wong-Orantes, outside hitter Jordan Larson, opposite Jordan Thompson and middle Haleigh Washington.

VNL veterans on the roster are libero Morgan Hentz, outside hitters Ali Frantti, Khalia Lanier and Kathryn Plummer, and middle Dana Rettke.

Head Coach Karch Kiraly is a three-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist as a player who took over as head coach in 2013. He has led the U.S. Women to a World Championship in 2014 and an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Kiraly’s first assistant is Tama Miyashiro, who won a silver medal as a libero with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. The second assistants will be Marv Dunphy, Alfee Reft and Erin Virtue.

The U.S. Women are the reigning Olympic champions and were ranked No. 2 in the world going into VNL. They have won the VNL three times (2018, ’19, ’21) since its inception in 2018. In 2023, they finished fourth overall.

Peru Wins U17 Girls Pan American Opener

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 27, 2024.- Peru won opening match of the first U17 Girls  Pan American Cup defeating Dominican Republic in straight sets (25-16, 26-24, 25-19) at the Multi-sports Dome in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Peru and Dominican Republic are in Group A of the event. On Tuesday, Peru will face Cuba and Dominican Republic will go up against Mexico.

The South American team started the first two sets behind, and in the second set, they prevented the Dominican Republic from tying the match by saving three set points (21-24).

Perú celebrates

Peru was more effective in attack points (31-29) and blocks (6-3), while the Dominicans topped in service points (10-7). Peru benefited from 32 Dominican errors compared to 17 from their own.

The top scorer of the match was Peru’s team captain, Ariana Vásquez, with 16 points on 12 attacks, one block, and three service points. Outside hitter Gianella Chanca contributed to the victory with 11 points on 8 attacks, one block, and two service points.

Dominican captain Estel Santos led her team with 14 points on 12 attacks and two service points. Opposite hitter Rayni Mondesi finished with 9 points on 5 attacks, one block, and three service points.

With great joy, Peru’s captain, Ariana Vásquez, expressed, “It was an effort by all the girls, we fought for every ball.” Regarding the win, she said, “It’s very good because it helps us mentally; I think we had confidence in what we know how to do on the court, but we have to focus on tomorrow’s match now.”

“It’s natural to make mistakes at this age, but today there were too many, especially in that second set that we couldn’t close,” said  Dominican Republic’s coach, Brazilian Marcelo Cezarano. “I understand that it’s the first game with me as coach, we changed the system of play a bit and it’s a learning process. It’s more complicated whenyou don’t play frequently. Tomorrow we’ll try to reduce the mistakes.”

USA’s Kloth/Nuss secure Espinho Gold two months before Paris

ESPINHO, Portugal, May 26, 2024.- Medal contenders for the upcoming Paris Olympics, USA’s Taryn Kloth/Kristen Nuss secured an important victory just two months before the start of the event, taking gold at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Espinho Elite16 on Sunday.

The tournament held at the Praia da Baía was the fourth of seven Elite16 events set to happen before the start of the Games and had one of the strongest fields of the season, with almost all the top teams of international beach volleyball making the trip to Portugal.

USA Gold Medal

Kloth, 27, and Nuss, 26, got to celebrate their sixth gold on the Beach Pro Tour and their first in 2024 after taking silver earlier this month in Brasília with a dramatic 2-1 (17-21, 28-26, 15-10) victory over Swiss Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli in a match in which they had to avoid six match points from their opponents in the second set before triumphing in the tie-breaker.

“This is absolutely unreal,” Nuss told Volleyball World. “It was such a battle. I think we go to three every single time against that Swiss team, they’re phenomenal athletes. It was pretty fun to just battle in this wind. The stadium was packed for the finals and for us, athletes, it means a lot to play in this atmosphere.”

Nuss and Kloth USA celebrate Espinho gold medal

Espinho Elite16 – Final Results

From Espinho, the Beach Pro Tour heads to the Polish city of Stare Jablonki, which will host the second-to-last event in the Olympic qualification period, from May 30-June 2. The Challenge event will mark the return of international beach volleyball to the city for the first time since 2014.

The last event of the Olympic qualification period will be held in Ostrava, Czechia, from June 5-9, and will be an Elite16 tournament.

Hanes Unstoppable in U.S. Men’s First Win of 2024 VNL

May 26, 2024.- The U.S. Men’s National Team’s first win of the tournament came against Türkiye 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-21) in the week one finale of Volleyball Nations League preliminary play on Sunday in Antalya, Türkiye.

“It feels great, we put in a lot of work,” outside hitter Ethan Champlin told Volleyball World. “One thing we always talk about in the locker room is that, this team, these fourteen guys are only going to play together once. It’s probably not going to happen ever again. So we’re just enjoying the moments together, playing hard, playing for one another. That’s what’s most important.”

The U.S. Men finish week one with a 1-3 record. Week two of VNL will begin June 4 in Ottawa, Canada.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Opposite Jake Hanes could not be stopped, putting up an astounding 31 points on 29 kills and two aces.

Middle blocker Patrick Gasman had 13 points on nine kills, three blocks and one ace.

Outside hitter Jordan Ewert had seven points on six kills and one ace. Champlin added six points on four kills and two aces.

Aside from the massive stat line from Hanes, service pressure made the difference in the match with the U.S. scoring seven aces to Türkiye’s three. Türkiye did have the slight advantage on kills (51-50) and the teams were even on blocks (8-8). The U.S. scored on 32 opponent errors while committing 31.

After dropping the first set, the U.S. saw an energy shift when Hanes tied set two at 18-18 with an ace followed by a kill from the back row. Middle blocker Daniel Wetter made his VNL debut and contributed right away with a block to give the U.S. set point. Hanes took care of the rest once again from the back row to even the match 1-1.

The third set stayed close until the U.S. took the lead 15-14 after Champlin’s ace serve. A tough serve from Ewert led to a Türkiye attack error and gave the U.S. its first match lead (2-1) of the tournament.

Türkiye fought hard in the fourth set in front of their loud home crowd. However, the momentum was already well on the side of the U.S. Men and they didn’t give it back. Taking advantage of Türkiye’s errors and feeding the hot hand of Hanes, the U.S. Men secured its first VNL win.

Setter Quinn Isaacson added three points on two blocks and one ace.

Libero Kyle Dagostino was credited with nine digs and seven successful receptions. Libero Mason Briggs started the fourth set and was credited with four digs.

Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez, outside hitter Brett Wildman and setter Josh Tuaniga all saw action as substitutes.

Girls U17 Pan American Cup A Great Preparation Towards the World Championship

Guatemala City, Guatemala, May 26, 2024 – Coaches from current U17 NORCECA champion  Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Peru agreed that the Girls U17 Pan American Cup is a great opportunity to prepare before they compete from August 17 to 24 in the FIVB  World Championship in Peru.

The day before the competition begins at the Multi-Sports Dome in Guatemala City, the eight coaches of the participating teams shared their initial impressions.

The Girls U17 Pan American Cup, to be held from May 27 to June 1, is part of the qualification system for the 2025 NORCECA Continental Championship and the 2026 FIVB World Championship.

Christian López, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “We believe we are in good shape; we have trained a lot. At this age, it is mostly a learning process. We come to try to do our best, have a very good tournament, but above all, gain experience. There are new faces on the team, 5 or 6 are from the team that competed last year in Honduras”. 

Costa Rica

Carina Menes Carrion, Head Coach of Cuba: “We come with good preparation. Last year, when we competed in the NORCECA U17, we didn’t win a medal and finished in sixth place. This year, we have prepared competitively; we are preparing this U17 team for the U19 tournament. We worked a lot on our reception, which was our weakness in the previous competition. We are here to fight for the championship”.

Cuba

Marcelo Cezarano, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “We are training hard to improve. I am the new coach, and the players are adapting very well to the change. The main goal is our preparation for the World Championship. We will go into every match to win. We are looking for good results”.

Dominican Republic

Celeste Cifuentes, Head Coach of Guatemala: “My team is very motivated and strengthened. They are a group of girls who have worked since they were in mini-volleyball at the national level. For most of the team, as well as for me as a coach, it is a new experience competing internationally. We know it is a tough competition, facing strong teams in the area. We have worked on the psychological aspect of the game, and we will try to exploit our strengths”.

Guatemala

Ignacio Sánchez Palmeros, Head Coach of Mexico: “This tournament is a good scale to see where we stand before we compete in the World Championship. It allows us to test other athletes; we have two injured players, and we will have the opportunity to see others play, so we can arrive with the best team at the World Championship. Coming as NORCECA champions gives us the chance to play good volleyball because all the teams will play at one hundred percent against us, and that’s what we want for our development”.

Mexico

Antonio Rizola, Head Coach of Peru: “I love the Pan American Cup; it is a fundamental competition for all the teams in the Americas because we don’t play against each other much. Especially this Peruvian team, it will be our first time together, and I need to use it as a laboratory because from the team that qualified last year for the World Championship, I changed players’ positions and added five new players, everything is unknown. The team is anxious, it’s necessary to remember that they are all girls, and we will seek our own objectives as a team, our growth in every aspect of its performance”.

Peru

Juan Carlos Núñez, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are preparing for the World Championship in August. After the NORCECA Championship in Honduras, we had a tryout for new players and nearly 300 girls participated, we selected 20 who trained for a month and a half to come here. Of the 12 players on the team, this championship will help me evaluate 8 girls who were not in Honduras. It is a good period to decide on the team we will take to Peru”.

Puerto Rico

William Ruiz, Head Coach of Venezuela: “First of all we want to thank NORCECA and its president Cristóbal Marte for the invitation, and our Federation for including us again in these events. We are starting a new cycle, with a new group of young girls in our country, aiming to reach the elite of South American and World volleyball”.

Venezuela

Cuba Triumphs Over Iran

May 5, 2024. – Cuba finished the first week of Volleyball Nations League with a 3-1 victory (25-20, 14-25, 25-21, 25-21) over Iran in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At the conclusion of the first week of action, Cuba’s record stands at 3-1.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

The victory earned Cuba 4.4 points, for a total of 261.17 points, placing them in 9th place in the rankings, within the qualification zone for the Olympic Games.

Cuba outperformed Iran in attack points (53-21), block points (9-4), and had a slight edge in aces (7-6). However, Cuba conceded more points on errors (26-20).

Middle blocker Robertlandy Simón and outside hitter Marlon Yanta were Cuba’s top scorers with 14 points each. Simón scored on 8 kills, 3 blocks, and 3 aces, while Yant scored all on kills.

The top scorer of the match was Iran’s Meisam Salehi with 15 points.

Cuba will compete in week two of VNL in Ottawa, Canada.

T&T, Cayman Islands stay unbeaten in Girls U-19 qualifiers

BLACKROCK, Tobago, May 25, 2024.- The duo of host Trinidad and Tobago and Cayman Islands both ended the opening day of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA)/Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) FIVB World Championship Under-19 Beach Volleyball Qualifiers with unbeaten 2-0 records in the five-team round-robin series.

With only the winner of the round-robin series securing a direct ticket to the FIVB World Championship main draw and the second and third placed teams to the qualification draw all participating teams knew the important of a positive start in the two-day qualifying event with the aim of qualify to the grand tournament in China from August 27 to September 1.

And at the end of the first day of competition which was briefly interrupted by rain due to the passing of a Tropical Wave, host Trinidad and Tobago duo L’fe Roberts and Meeka Johnson, veterans of the Commonwealth Youths Games at the same venue last year also made an impressive start beating Arubans Nayah Whitfield and Davy-Ann  Eduards 2-0 (21-16, 21-15), followed by a similar 2-0 (21-10, 21-2) triumph against Grenada’s Celine Hankey and Makayla Mason.

Not to be overshadowed, Joanna Robinson and Luna Ebanks of Cayman Islands defeated Aruba 2-0 (21-9, 21-10) and Barbadians Jewel Austin and Marilyn Gill 2-0 (21-9, 21-7) to improve to a 2-0 mark as well from their first two matches.

Both Barbados and Aruba ended the day with 1-2 records after the latter won their duel 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) while Grenada is without a win.

On Sunday, Barbados has one match left to play against Trinidad and Tobago, while the latter also faces Cayman Islands who will meet Grenada in their other encounter as well. Grenada and Aruba also face off in the other match on the day, but with no chance of any team advancing.

Trinidad and Tobago

CAZOVA/ECVA FIVB World Championship Under-19 Beach Volleyball Qualifiers results:

Saturday:

Girls Under-19 results:

Joanna Robinson/Luna Ebanks (CAY) bt Naya Whitfield/Davy-Ann Eduards (ARU) 2-0 (21-9, 21-10)

Jewel Austin/Marilyn Gill (BAR) bt Celine Hankey/Makayla Mason (GRN) 2-0 (21-17, 21-9)

L’fe Roberts/Meeka Johnson (TTO) bt Naya Whitfield/Davy-Ann Eduards (ARU) 2-0 (21-16, 21-15)

Joanna  Robinson/Luna Ebanks (CAY) bt Jewel Austin/Marilyn Gill (BAR) 2-0 (21-9, 21-7)

L’fe Roberts/Meeka Johnson (TTO)  bt Celine Hankey/Makayla Mason (GRN) 2-0 (21-10, 21-2)

Naya Whitfield/Davy-Ann Eduards (ARU) vs Jewel Austin/Marilyn Gill (BAR) 2-0 (21-19, 21-17)

Sunday’s matches:

Jewel Austin/Marilyn Gill (BAR) vs L’fe Roberts/Meeka Johnson (TTO)

Celine Hankey/Makayla Mason (GRN) vs Joanna Robinson/Luna Ebanks (CAY)

L’fe Roberts/Meeka Johnson (TTO) vs Joanna Robinson/Luna Ebanks (CAY)

Celine Hankey/Makayla Mason (GRN) vs Naya Whitfield/Davy-Ann Eduards (ARU)

United States fell to Bulgaria

May 25, 2024. – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Bulgaria 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21) in Volleyball Nations League preliminary play on Friday in Antalya, Türkiye.

The U.S. Men (0-3) will play the host country Türkiye (0-3) on Sunday at 7 a.m. PT.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

With the loss, the Americans gave up their second position in FIVB World Ranking to Italy and dropped to number three.

The squad showed improvement, taking one set from Bulgaria. Opposite Jake Hanes provided the spark that allowed the U.S. to get its first set win of the 2024 VNL. Hanes led all scorers with 24 points on 20 kills, three blocks and one ace.

The U.S. Men will look to build on that as they prepare for their final match of week one.

“We got to hold it down later in the sets,” setter Josh Tuaniga told Volleyball World. “Right now, we’re playing really well in the beginning and toward the end, that’s where we start to let go of some opportunities. So, I think that comes with experience and some chemistry. We’re a new group, we just started playing together not too long ago. Hopefully going into the next match, we can speed that process up and really handle those late points.”

Outside hitter Jordan Ewert scored 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks. Middle blocker Matthew Knigge added 11 points on eight kills and three aces.

Middle blocker Patrick Gasman had six points on five kills and one block. Outside hitter Ethan Champlin, who started the second set and on, also had six points on five kills and one ace.

Setter Quinn Isaacson started the third and fourth sets for Tuaniga and had two kills.

Libero Kyle Dagostino was credited with 12 digs and five successful receptions.

Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez and outside hitter Brett Wildman saw action as substitutes.

Canada takes Slovenia to five sets

May 25, 2024.- Canada’s men’s team wrapped up the first week of Volleyball Nations League 2024 in Antalya, Türkiye, on Saturday with a five-set loss to Slovenia.

After the long battle, the score was Slovenia 3, Canada 2 (22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 15-10).

Canada’s record is 2-2 after week one, and Slovenia is undefeated with one match to go in Antalya.

Though Slovenia led in most areas – attack (66-57), aces (11-3) and had fewer errors (22-27) – Canada was able to dominate in blocking (14-4) points.

Opposite Tonček Štern of Slovenia was the winning team top scorer with 23 points; while Stephen Maar of Canada topped the board with 27 points (which included three of Canada’s successful blocking points.)

Setter Luke Herr told VBTV: “It was really a battle out there, back and forth, and we didn’t come on top today. Any team we play in VNL is going to be a difficult game and we just come out every match and give it our all. It was a good match overall.”

Slovenia is ranked 7th in the World Rankings but is still in the hunt for an Olympic spot. Canada is ranked 12th and is already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics after the team’s second-place performance in the Olympic Qualifier pool last year.

Guatemala’s Mult-Sports Dome is Ready for the Girls U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 25, 2024.- The Multi-Sports Dome in Guatemala City is ready for the inaugural edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup, which kicks off on Monday, May 27.

The control committee and the organizing committee of the event conducted inspections of all the facilities prepared for the competition, which runs from May 27 to June 1.

 control committee

The technical delegates supervised each work area under the guidance of Ariel Sainz, president of the control committee, who stated, “The Dome is a facility we are familiar with; it has hosted numerous international competitions, and everything is ready for the event to start”.

Carlos Enrique Santis, president of the National Federation of Guatemala and competition director, explained the details regarding transportation, food, and the activity schedule planned to ensure the event runs smoothly.

The Girls U17 Pan American Cup will be streamed on Facebook Live Fnvg Voleibol Guate.

Ariel Sainz explained that since this is an underage category, all technical delegates must guide the athletes as they are being introduced to international competitions.

It was confirmed that before the match between Guatemala and Venezuela, an opening ceremony will take place.

The event is part of the qualification system for the 2025 NORCECA Continental Championship and the 2026 FIVB World Championship in this category.

Japan beat Cuba in a five set thriller

May 24, 2024.- Japan and Cuba battled in one of the most exciting duels of the 2024 Volleyball Nations League so far on Friday, in Rio de Janeiro, and the Asians emerged on the winning side of it after more than two hours of action to remain undefeated.

Japan, who don’t have star outside hitters Yuki Ishikawa and Ran Takahashi available this week, started some other key against the Cubans, such as opposite Yuji Nishida, but showed resilience to top a red-hot Cuban team 3-2 (18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 22-20).

It was a rollercoaster of a match, which saw the Caribbean start ahead and the Asians take the next two sets before a Cuban triumph in the fourth set forced a tie-breaker. Cuba built a 14-11 lead and got close to the win, but saw Japan come back to deny nine match points before Nishida put the last ball down to claim the victory.

Cuba were dominant at the net, outscoring Japan in kills (69 to 56) and blocks (20 to eight), but paid a steep price for their 39 errors. The Caribbean had the four players with the most points scored in the match in outside hitters Miguel Ángel López (25) and Marlon Yant (17) and middle blockers Robertlandy Simón and Javier Concepcion, with 14 each.

“Japan are one of the top teams in the World Rankings and we tried to bring our best,” Concepcion said. “They’re very disciplined and very technical and are a difficult opponent to anyone. We tried to stick to our game plan no matter what and we had our chances to win the match a few times, but unfortunately, we lost our focus and didn’t take them. We’re not sad about how we played, but certainly not happy either with the result.”

The defeat made the Cubans drop just 0.08 FIVB World Rankings points and kept them in ninth place, still inside the qualification zone for the Paris Olympics, with 256.77.

Cuba will complete their match schedules in the opening week of the VNL 2024 on Saturday, against Iran at 21:00 local time (00:00 GMT, Sunday).

U.S. Men Run into Olympic Champions at 2024 VNL

May 24, 2024.-  The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to France 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-21) in Volleyball Nations League preliminary play on Friday in Antalya, Türkiye.

The U.S. Men (0-2) will play Bulgaria (0-2) on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

The U.S. Men have run into two tough opponents in Poland (reigning VNL champions) and France (reigning Olympic champions) in the opening week of VNL. While France did have some new faces on the court, they were still led by some familiar ones from the Tokyo Olympic Games roster. Outside hitter Yacine Louati was the top scorer for France with 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Kevin Tillie added eight points on seven kills and one block.

U.S. outside hitter Jordan Ewert put together another strong performance with 13 kills. He had 10 points on nine kills and one ace in his VNL debut against Poland.

“This is only our second match together,” Ewert told Volleyball World. “Our goal is obviously to win, but our main goal is to keep improving throughout the week and see what this team can do. It’s also tough with the first two matches being against Poland and France. I think we made some big improvements today as a team and also as individuals, so back to the drawing board and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

France took advantage of errors and led most of the opening set until Ewert ended a long rally with a point of the block which tied the set at 22-22. However, France immediately took back the lead and never looked back.

Despite cleaning up their errors and leading at times in the final two sets, the U.S. Men couldn’t hold off France to avoid the sweep.

Middle blocker Matthew Knigge also had another good outing with 10 points on eight kills and two aces.

Outside hitter Cody Kessel had eight points on seven kills and one block.

Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez had seven points or six kills and one block.

Middle blocker Michael Marshman came off the bench and added four kills.

Libero Kyle Dagostino was credited with nine digs and two successful receptions.

Setter Quinn Isaacson, outside hitter Brett Wildman and opposite Jake Hanes saw action as substitutes.

Canada sweeps Bulgaria in VNL

May 24, 2024.- Canada’s men’s team managed to control a young Bulgarian squad today for another win at Volleyball Nations League 2024 in Antalya, Türkiye.

Bulgaria put on a challenge each set, but Canada won 3-0 (25-22, 30-28, 26-24)

Canada led in attacks (43-38), blocks (9-5), serves were even at five apiece, but Canada made slightly more errors 26-24. Eric Loeppky (14) and Stephen Maar (13) again led Canada’s scoring.

“It was a very tight game, and I’m proud of our team that in important moments we could close the sets in our favour”,  said head coach, Tuomas Sammelvuo “To win 3-0 means a lot in rankings and for many other reasons. Of course, there are things that we need to do better and improve – for example, we missed too many serves today. But it’s been three early matches in three days, and we are handling that well. And now we will recover and get all our strength for tomorrow’s match against Slovenia”.

Team Canada’s Fynn McCarthy, making his VNL debut this year, told VBTV: “It’s been amazing….  It wasn’t an easy match for us, they gave us some pushback, but we worked through some difficult moments, which was great for the team. . .. It’s great to get this win”.

Bulgaria is currently ranked 20th in the world. Canada is ranked 12th and is already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics after the team’s second-place performance in the Olympic Qualifier pool last year.

Canada’s men’s team is now 2-1 in VNL, and its next match is against Slovenia (6th).

It’s Live! FIVB Volleyball Foundation Auction Opens!

May 24, 2024.- The Volleyball Foundation week-long charity auction is now live! Never-seen-before rare volleyball memorabilia up for grabs to support the Volleyball Foundation

Open to the world, lots can be viewed and bids placed at Piguet Auction House platforms

Incredible memorabilia available, from signed and match worn shirts to unique art originals and much more!

The Volleyball Foundation is thrilled to announce that its special charity auction, in partnership with the renowned Piguet Auction House, is now live. Lots up for grabs range from unique art originals to authentic, match worn and signed memorabilia from legends of the game and much more.

Volleyball fans and collectors around the world can now place their bids to claim exclusive volleyball memorabilia here. Hurry, as the auction is set to close on Thursday 30 May at 9 PM CEST.

With 16 lots available, the auction features a variety of fascinating and never-seen-before pieces, each as valuable as the next. Included are original paintings by Peter Spens of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 beach volleyball venue, various Olympic Games torches and team-signed Olympic volleyballs generously donated by the FIVB.

Additionally, legends of the game have contributed an exciting lineup of items, including: a plate signed by the entire Chinese women’s national team commemorating their Rio 2016 gold with a personal message from the renowned Hui Ruoqi, Mireya Luis’ match-worn bodysuit from the Sydney 2000 gold medal match, signed jerseys from current and former Brazilian national women’s team stars Gabi and Sheilla, respectively, Elizaveta Bracht-Tishchenko’s match-worn  Russian national team jersey from the Olympic Games Athens 2004 quarterfinal, Chinese volleyball player Feng Kun’s original uniform from the Olympic Games Athens 2004, where China won. and a pair of Giba’s unique trainers gifted to him after Brazil won three consecutive World Championship victories, among many other exclusive pieces. 

All proceeds will go to the Volleyball Foundation to support pioneering volleyball projects that contribute to the social well-being of communities.

Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said: “We are incredibly grateful for the generous contributions from the FIVB and our volleyball legends and look forward to the positive impact these proceeds will make. We invite everyone to bid on these incredible items and thereby support the Volleyball Foundation’s mission to connect, serve and inspire global communities through volleyball to improve society.”

For the latest news on the Volleyball Foundation, be sure to follow us on Instagram.  

About the Volleyball Foundation

Launched in May 2024, the Volleyball Foundation uses the global reach and power of volleyball to support community projects worldwide that have a positive impact. By identifying pioneering projects from across the globe, the Foundation supports and provides funding and resources to advance certified projects that promote the social well-being of communities through volleyball.

Cuba entered into the Olympic qualification zone

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, May 23, 2024.- Cuba entered the Volleyball Nations League 2024 intending to qualify for the Paris Olympics and, after just two matches in Rio de Janeiro, they’re already inside the qualification zone for the event. That was possible thanks to a combination of a Cuban victory over Germany and a Serbian setback against Japan, on Thursday.

Following up on a four-set victory over Brazil on Tuesday, the Caribbean had another strong performance at the Maracanãzinho stadium, topping Germany 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 18-25, 25-23) in the first match of the day.

The result gave the Cubans 7.18 points in the FIVB World Rankings, elevating their total to 256.85. That alone wasn’t enough for them to pass the Serbians, but that happened when the Europeans fell to Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-22) later, dropping 5.38 points to go down to 252.85.

Now, Cuba are the fourth-best national team not yet qualified for Paris to appear in the World Rankings, behind Italy, who are fourth with 347.58, Slovenia, who are sixth with 314.95, and Argentina, who are seventh with 308.29.

Star outside hitters Marlon Yant and Miguel Ángel López rose again for the Cubans, combining to produce 39 points against the Germans. Yant, who celebrated his 23rd birthday with a victory on the court, had a team-high 21 points, with 17 kills, three blocks and one ace, while the team captain added 18, with 17 kills and one block.

“We came into this match with a positive attitude because we knew this was going to be a critical match for us,” middle blocker Robertlandy Simón commented. “It was a great win today, but now it’s time for us to focus on the next one. I wished Yant a happy birthday this morning, but we’re not having a party for him because our goal here is to qualify for the Olympics. Japan are a very difficult matchup for us and we’ll need to be very focused.”

Cuba will face Japan at 14:00 local time (17:00 GMT) in Rio on Friday.

Canada falls to Poland at VNL

May 23, 2024.- Canada’s men’s team showed up with a strong start, but couldn’t hold off the world-ranked number-one team of Poland at Volleyball Nations League 2024 in Antalya, Türkiye, today.

The final score was Canada 1, Poland 3 (25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 21-25).

Poland led in attack points 58-54, blocks 5-4, and services aces 8-5. Canada earned more points from Poland’s errors 26-22.

“We came out guns blazing, and then we were playing a little too safe,” Team Canada’s Stephen Maar told VBTV in a post-match interview. “We have everything we need to win and compete in these games, and at the end of the day we must take the opportunities that we have. … This team was able to make huge steps as a team last year (in qualifying for the Olympics), so we have the ability to learn what it is to play and win against these great teams.”

Polish outside hitter Bartosz Bednorz was match top scorer with 19 points; Eric Loeppky was Canada’s top scorer today with 15 points.

Canada, ranked 12th, is already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics after the team’s second-place performance in the Olympic Qualifier pool last year.

Canada is now 1-1, and its next match is against Bulgaria on Friday.

CAZOVA & ECVA Beach U19 World Championships Qualification Tournaments

BLACK ROCK, Tobago, May 23, 2024.- Following on the successful hosting of the volleyball competition at the Courland Beach Sports Facility in Black Rock, Tobago for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Tobago last year, the venue will once again take the spotlight where a Development Camp and the U19 World Championships Qualification event will be held.

Additionally, the Trinbago Beach Volleyball Tour (TBVT) hosted by the T&T Volleyball Federation (TTVF) serves off on at the same venue. The event will be held from the 23-26 May 2024.

The first two days of the four-day event will be dedicated to a development training camp for the young athletes and their coaches supported by Panam Sports.  This will be followed by the FIVB Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Under-19 World Championship Zonal Qualifiers featuring teams from Aruba, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Martinique, St Kitts/Nevis, St Lucia, Suriname and host Trinidad & Tobago.

The Trinbago Senior Open Championship, will be contested alongside the U19 Championships.

The development training Camp will be  conducted by Brazilian FIVB Instructor Augusto Sabbatini, and all National Coaches accompanying the teams will participate with their respective teams.

The winning team in each gender of the World Championship Qualifying U-19 Tournament, will secure their tickets to the main draw of the FIVB World Championship in China from August 27 to September 1 while the runners-up will qualify for the qualification draw of the FIVB World Championship in China August 27 to September 1.

Mushtaque Mohammed, President of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA), said it is a grand opportunity for all the participating countries in the Caribbean to win the grand prize of qualifying to the FIVB Under-19 Beach Volleyball World Championship later this year.

Mohammed added, “So, an Under-19 boys and girls team on Sunday (May 26) will win that opportunity to go to the World Championships and it is a first for the Caribbean and we are happy to facilitate these opportunities.”

A former T&T Volleyball Federation boss Mohammed was also full of praise for the merger between the two associations in the Caribbean coming together for the qualifiers, the ECVA and CAZOVA.

He said, “The merger of the two zones of the ECVA and CAZOVA provides another great opportunity because it’s one Caribbean. Playing together is a unique opportunity for all the countries and players to develop because the more the players compete together and against each other is the more likely they are to develop as players and teams.

Looking at the participating teams and players, Mohammed stated, “We have athletes here competing over the two days who are 14 years-old and this is an Under-19 FIVB World Qualification Tournament, so it means that in eight years time for the Brisbane Olympics in Australia that individual will be 22 years of age which is considered the peaking years to play your sport at the Olympics.

“And the ones who are already 18-years and competing in Tobago, the next two cycles they will be 26 which is even better for them at the Olympics, so the Under-19 category here is really outstanding.

In terms of the technical aspects of the game, Mohammed said, “We also have many coaches here who will be sharing their ideas together with the four international coaches that we have here, so they will all learn and benefit from each other in the preparation of athletes for higher level competitions.

“Overall, this is great start and a wonderful investment and hopefully, we can see at the end of this in eight to 12 years that some of the athletes who started here qualify for the Olympics, and that will be the crowning moment for us.”

Speaking on the eve of the competition, T&TVF President, Daymian Stewart said, “I’m very happy and pleased to see the progress that we are making and the Trinbago Tour in terms of the milestones and markers that we had set ourselves in our strategic plan for 2032.

“This is our second season of the Trinbago Tour and we would have learnt a lot from our first season in 2023 and now for the start of the second season with the combined ECVA and CAZOVA teams competing in the FIVB Under-19 World Beach Volleyball Championship Qualifiers we are delighted.”

Looking ahead for the two-day FIVB Under-19 Qualifiers, Stewart noted that 10 countries have confirmed participation for the chance to qualify one team in the men and women categories to the FIVB World Championship.

“So, it’s really a big tournament and at the same time we are very thankful for the sponsors and of the Tobago House of Assembly and the other sponsors and we also want to implore that corporate T&T also get on board.”

First Girls U17 Pan American Cup to be held in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 22, 2024.- The first Girls U17 Pan American Cup, to be held from May 27 to June 1, will take place in Guatemala City, Guatemala, at the Dome Sports Center.

The Girls U17 Pan American Cup is an event that is part of the qualification system for the NORCECA U17 Continental Championship in 2025 and the age-group FIVB World Championship in 2026.

The details of the competition were announced by the president of the National Volleyball Federation of Guatemala, Enrique Santis Rangel, during a press conference.

Lic. Enrique Santis

“It is a great opportunity and a challenge to organize this event, for which we have been preparing for a long time. We are fostering new talents and laying the foundations for those who will represent our country in future competitions,” said Santis Rangel.

The tournament will have eight national teams competing, divided into two groups.

Group A includes Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Peru, while Group B consists of Costa Rica, the host Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

Mexico is the current NORCECA U17 champion, a title they won last November in an extraordinary comeback from two sets down, winning 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-5) against Puerto Rico at the Jorge Galeano Gymnasium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The preliminary pool-play round begins on Monday, May 27, concluding on Wednesday, May 29, to determine the teams advancing directly to the semifinals. The second and third-place teams in each group will compete in the quarterfinals to determine the teams advancing to the medal rounds.

“Two years ago, the FIVB agreed to the creation of this category, so all the Confederations worldwide adopted this new competition system. This year, there is participation in the U17 World Championship. This event will serve for ranking purposes towards the 2025 NORCECA Continental Championship,” concluded Santis.

Schedule Preliminary Round

May 27

14:00    Peru vs. Dominican Republic

16:00    Mexico vs. Cuba

18:00    Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela

20:00    Guatemala vs. Costa Rica

May 28

14:00    Dominican Republic vs. Mexico

16:00    Peru vs. Cuba

18:00    Costa Rica vs. Puerto Rico

20:00    Venezuela vs. Guatemala

May 29

14:00    Mexico vs. Peru

16:00    Dominican Republic vs. Cuba

18:00    Costa Rica vs. Venezuela

20:00    Guatemala vs. Puerto Rico

Tough Start for Young U.S. Squad Against Defending VNL Champs

May 22, 2024.- The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 26-24) in its first match of Volleyball Nations League preliminary play on Wednesday in Antalya, Türkiye.

The U.S. Men (0-1) will look to rebound against France (1-0) on Friday at 7 a.m. PT.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Led by Aleksander Śliwka (13 points), the defending VNL champions showed their experience by not faltering, even when the U.S. Men jumped out to an early lead in the first set. Poland led the U.S. in kills (40-34), blocks (6-3) and aces (8-6). Poland scored on 22 U.S. errors and committed 18.

Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez made his competitive debut with the U.S. Men’s National Team and led U.S. scorers with 11 points on nine kills and two aces. Outside hitter Jordan Ewert made his VNL debut and followed with 10 points on nine kills and one ace.

The U.S. Men nearly forced a fourth set after Garcia Fernandez scored from the back row tying the set at 21-21. Shortly after, libero Kyle Dagostino made an incredible play, chasing a ball behind the serve line into a sliding kick save to return the ball over to Poland’s side. However, Poland won the point bringing them to match point. Despite tying it up at 24-24, Poland eventually took the set and match.

“I think we started a little bit slower than we anticipated,” Dagostino told Volleyball World. “All of us feel like we have more to show and more to prove this week.”

Dagostino was credited with four digs and four successful receptions.

Middle blocker Matthew Knigge made his VNL debut as a starter and had six points on four kills. Middle blocker Patrick Gasman added five points on two kills, one block and two aces.

Outside hitter Cody Kessel had five points on four kills and one block. Opposite Jake Hanes had three kills.

Outside hitters Ethan Champlin and Brett Wildman, setter Quinn Isaacson and Middle blocker Michael Marshman also made their VNL debuts as substitutes.

Cuba silence the Maracanãzinho and upset Brazil

May 21, 2024.- Cuba took a major step towards the Paris Olympics with the victory in their VNL debut at a packed Maracanãzinho stadium for the return of legendary head coach ‘Bernardinho’ Rezende who didn’t intimidate Cuba as the Caribbean stunned Brazil in front of nearly 10,000 fans to start the Volleyball Nations League 2024 on the right foot.

Benefiting from an excellent collective performance, the Cubans secured a big 3-1 (25-23, 27-29, 25-21, 25-21) victory over the South Americans in Pool 2 and significantly improved their chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

The first national team sitting below the cut-off line, Cuba earned 12.7 points in the Ranking with the victory, going up from 11th to tenth place and getting to 249.66 to now rank just 3.56 points behind Serbia, the last team inside the qualification zone – they can move above the cut-off line on Wednesday if the Serbians lose to Iran in Rio. Despite the upset, Brazil continues in fifth place.

FIVB World Rankings 

A well-diversified offense was one of the keys to the Cuban victory as five players reached double digits in scoring in the match – outside hitters Marlon Yant (18) and Miguel Ángel López (15), opposite Michael Sánchez (14) and middle blockers Javier Concepcion (13) and Robertlandy Simón (12).

“To win here at the Maracanãzinho, with this atmosphere, it’s crazy,” Simón commented. “We knew we needed good results this week to help us qualify for the Olympics and today was a good start. We need to keep taking it one step at a time. We’ll give everything to make it to Paris.”

Playing aggressively, the Cubans also outscored the Brazilians in blocks (ten to four) and aces (seven to four), paving the way for their victory.

Cuban-born Brazilian outside hitter Yoandy Leal led all scorers with 19 points (17 kills, two aces), with fellow outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli adding another 11, with nine kills, one block and one ace.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Cuba will be on the court again at the Maracanãzinho on Thursday, playing Germany at 14:00 local time (17:00 GMT).

Canada comes back for first Men VNL win of 2024

May 21, 2024.- After shaking off the nervous energy of the season opener, Canada’s men’s team earned its first win of Volleyball Nations League 2024 in Antalya, Türkiye, today.

The home team of Türkiye won the first set, but couldn’t hold back Canada, who ended up winning  3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21).


“We had a very nervous start of the game,” admitted head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo, “but we knew it might have been like this, so we broke the ice and from the second set on, we got back to the game. Step by step we got better and we were good in key moments in the last three sets. Now all the focus is on getting better and improving our game.”

Canada led in attack points 51-44, and services aces 12-5, but was out-blocked by its opponent 5-12. Canada also made more errors: 29-24.

“I think we had some jitters and they played well, and we could have played better in the first set. After that we got in our rhythm and the connections were much better, and we served better after the first set… What’s great about our group is that everyone helps each other,” captain Nick Hoag said in the post-match interview to VBTV. “We’re growing as a team, and playing better set after set.”

Veteran Stephen Maar led scoring with 24 points including five ace serves, followed by relative newcomer Fynn McCarthy with 14 points (including three blocks and three aces).

Canada, ranked 12th is already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics after the team’s second-place performance in the Olympic Qualifier pool last year. Türkiye is ranked 14th in the world.

Canada next plays world number-one Poland on May 23.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

United States Sweep Dominican Republic to End VNL Week 1

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, May 19, 2024.- United States ended the first round of Volleyball Nations League preliminary play on a high note with a sweep (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) of the Dominican Republic on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

United States dominated on the attack, leading the Dominican Republic in kills 51-35. The U.S. also led in aces 4-1. The Dominican led in blocks 11-6 and the teams tied in scoring errors 14-14.

Avery Skinner and Chiaka Ogbogu combined for 30 points, with the outside hitter producing 18 and the middle blocker adding another 12. Outside hitter Brayelin Martínez was the Dominican leading scorer with 11 points.

The 7.96 points earned with the sweep helped the United States gain a spot in the World Rankings, moving up to fourth place. The Dominicans remained in ninth place.

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

The women will now have a week off in the VNL 2024 before returning to the court from May 28 to June 2. Brazil, the Dominican Republic, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Thailand and hosts China will play in Macau while Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Korea, Poland, Serbia, Türkiye and hosts USA will compete in Arlington.

Next week, the men will start their campaigns with pools in Rio de Janeiro (Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan and Serbia) and Antalya (Bulgaria, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Türkiye and USA).

USA’S Aleksey Mikhailenko Boys U19 NORCECA MVP

PONCE, Puerto Rico, May 19, 2024.- Outside hitter Aleksey Mikhailenko of United States was named the Most Valuable Player of the Boys U19 NORCECA Continental Championship that finished on Sunday at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

MVP, and1st Best Spiker, Aleksey Mikhailenko, USA

Mikailenko was also recognized as the first best spiker of the event along with a list of U.S. players that copped the individual awards during the closing ceremony.

Grant Lamoureaux received the second best spiker award. The two best middle blockers were Roman Payne and Luc  Scerensen, Rafael Urbina the best setter, Bluth Lxton the best receiver and Thomas Demps the best server.

Dominicans Malik Britton received the award for best opposite and Yandy Rodriguez was named the best libero and best digger.

Stanley Grant from Costa Rica was the best scorer with a total of 173 points.

United States Undefeated NORCECA Boys U19 Champion

PONCE, Puerto Rico, May 19, 2024. – United States was crowned undefeated champion of the Boys U19 NORCECA Continental Championship after defeating Cuba 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18) in the gold medal match on Sunday at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

In addition to winning the U19 NORCECA title, United States secured their spot in the 2025 age-group FIVB World Championship.

USA finished undefeated with a 5-0 win-loss record, dropping only one set,  precisely in this match against Cuba.

Cuba had 4 wins and 2 losses, both against the United States.

The U.S. led in blocks 7-3 and in aces 7-4. Cuba had the advantage in attacks 51-49. United States gave away 23 points on unforced errors while Cuba gave away 32.

Aleksey Mikhailenko USA

Outside hitter Aleksey Mikhailenko with 16 points on 15 kills and one block was the U.S. Middle blocker Roman Payne also contributed to the victory with 12 points, 10 on kills and one ace. Team captain Gran Lamoureux added 10 points.

Middle blocker Luc Soerensen scored a match-high of 4 blocks, and outside hitter Thomas Demps, scored a match-high of 4 aces.

Yosdani Medina CUB

Cuban opposite player Yosdani Medina led all scorers with 21 points on 20 attacks and one ace. Outside hitter Andy Marrero had a tally of 12 points on 11 attacks and one ace.

After the United States won the first two sets, Cuba switched their setter, replacing Ronaldo Flaquet with Daniel Sainz, which led to Cuba reaching a four-point lead (15-11) that the United States could not overcome.

In the fourth set, Aleksey Mikhailenko took charge of United States’ offense scoring 4 consecutive points, along with Thomas Demps in serving, and the championship point was a kill point scored by middle  Roman Payne.

Roman Payne, middle blocker of United States: “We communicated really well, had a lot of energy, even on the bench. The court work was amazing, and it felt great scoring the last point. Cuba came out with more energy in the third set, and we were expecting to sweep them, we needed to fire up a little bit more and in the last set we came out stronger, with more attitude”.

Charles Sullivan, Head coach of United States: “Cuba made some adjustments in the third set, brought their other setter in and set a new offense, that was a great move by them, forcing us to make adjustments as well, making it a higher level of fight. The result is a communal effort from all the coaches, all the clinics and all the administration around the United States”.

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