China sweeps Dominican Republic

SOFIA, Bulgaria, July 1, 2022 – China swept Dominican Republic in straight sets 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-15) in a volleyball match of the FIVB Women’s Nations League on Friday.

The Chinese are in fourth place with a 7-4 win-loss record while Dominican Republic descended to 4-7 in tenth position.

The Dominicans finish their participation in this year’s VNL playing against Poland (4-6).

The Chinese team played almost perfect volleyball while committing only 7 unforced errors throughout the match compared to 21 by the Dominicans.

Li Yingying led China with 15 points followed by Xinyue Yuan and Xiangyu Gong with 10 points apiece. Yonkaira Peña was the top scorer for the Dominican Republic with 15 points and Gaila Gonzalez added 10 tallies.

USA Volleyball and Mizuno to partner through 2028

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 3, 2022 – USA Volleyball, the U.S. national governing body for the sport of volleyball, and Mizuno, the global specialty sporting goods company, have announced details on a new multi-year partnership beginning in January of 2022 and lasting through the 2024 Olympics in Paris and the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Mizuno will exclusively provide uniforms and apparel to all national teams, footwear to any athletes that choose, and will outfit all USAV staff both corporately and at USAV-owned amateur events. Mizuno will also have a dedicated presence at USAV events both from an activation and a retail store perspective.

“We are thrilled to welcome USA Volleyball back into the Mizuno family,” said Clint Sammons, Team Sports Director at Mizuno USA. “Mizuno is—and always will be—committed to growing the sport of volleyball across the United States and the globe, and we firmly believe our goals align perfectly with those of USA Volleyball.”

Formerly longtime partners, Mizuno and USA Volleyball look to continue to build upon the success that they shared in the volleyball community for many years.

“USA Volleyball is excited to be collaborating again with Mizuno,” said Jamie Davis, President and CEO of USA Volleyball. “As a leader in performance apparel and footwear, I know that our athletes, coaches, officials, staff and members will enjoy wearing their top-quality products and that Mizuno will be a key partner in helping us grow the sport of volleyball over the next seven years.”

In addition to supplying performance apparel and footwear to all respective men and women’s national teams (indoor, beach, sitting, beach ParaVolley, and the up-and-coming sport of snow volleyball), Mizuno will work closely with USAV to maximize the promotional value and exposure of the partnership, as the sport continues to gain global popularity.

“By agreeing to a multi-year partnership covering the next two Olympic Games, we are committed to supporting not only the fantastic national teams in their respective quests for gold through 2028, but also to doing our part to continue growing the great game of volleyball at every level,” said Sammons. 

Puerto Rico and Cuba win qualifiers to Cali Games

Puerto Ricans Allanis Navas and María González defeated Mexicans Katherine Albarrán and Atenas Gutiérrez to claim the gold medal at the NORCECA U23 Women’s Beach Volleyball Qualifier to the Junior Pan American Games.

Navas/González, considered the pre-tournament favourites, scored a 2-0 (21-19, 21-12) victory living up to the expectations.

In the semifinals, Navas/Gonzalez subdued Canada’s Becky Tresham and Kaylee Glagau 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) while Albarrán/Gutiérrez upset Cuba’s Lázara Madán and Dayani Zequeira 2-0 (21-13, 21-15) in 31 minutes.

The bronze medal went to Canada’s Tresham/Glagau who edged Cubans Madán/Zequeira 2-1 (21-13, 17-21, 15-6).

Cubans Luis Reyes and Noslen Diaz were the champions of the NORCECA U23 Men’s Beach Volleyball Qualifier to the Junior Pan American Games     

Reyes/Diaz claimed the gold medal following their 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) victory over Mexico’s Miguel Sarabia and Raymond Stephens in just 34 minutes.

In the semifinals, Reyes/Díaz defeated Nicaragua’s Solis and Denis Lopez 2-0 (21-17, 21-10) while Sarabia/Stephens beat Puerto Rico’s William Rivera and Randall Santiago 2-0 (21-16, 21-17).

The bronze medal went to Puerto Ricans Rivera/Santiago who won the third-place contest over Nicaragua’s Solis/Lopez by scores of 2-0 (21-8, 21-18).

The teams qualified were:

Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico and Costa Rica in both genders, the women’s teams of Canada and Guatemala and the men’s of Nicaragua and Dominican Republic.

Beach duos of Cuba and Mexico advanced to the Olympics

Travelling restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the normal celebration of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit for the second consecutive year.

Nevertheless, two important events took place in 2021 with the finals of the Continental Cup in Colima, Mexico where two countries –one per gender- qualified to the Tokyo Olympic Games and the U23 Qualifiers to the Junior Pan American Games in Cali-Valle, contested in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

In the month of June, Cuba and Mexico earned the NORCECA tickets to the Olympics in the women and men categories, respectively.

The Cuban duos of Lidy Echeverria/Yanisleydis Sanchez and Leila Martínez/Mailen Deliz easily won their matches over the Mexicans Martha Revuelta/Zaira Orellana and Susana Torres/María Quintero.

Echeverría/Sanchez beat Revuelta/Orellana 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) while Martinez/Deliz crushed Torres/Quintero 2-0 (21-16, 21-7).

In the men’s tournament, the Mexican duo of Josué Gaxiola and José Luis Rubio won a golden set 15-13 over Canada’s Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton to seal their ticket to Tokyo.

Gaxiola/Rubio opened with a 2-0 (24-22, 21-13) victory over Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow only to see how O’Gorman/Saxton defeated the veterans Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) to force a golden set.

Mexico and Dominican Republic won the Senior Pan Am Cups

Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, was the site of the Senior Pan American Cup in both genders during the month of September.

Mexico beat Canada 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) to claim its second gold medal in the history of the men’s event at Ricardo Arias Pavilion.

It was precisely in Santo Domingo in 2007 when the Mexican side won their first title and only podium position in the event until this year’s triumph.

Diego Gonzalez and Josue Lopez led the Mexican attack with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Brodie Hofer was the only Canadian with double figures with a match-high 14 tallies.

United States claimed the bronze medal after defeating host Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-15).

Diego Gonzalez of Mexico was named as the Most Valuable Player.

The host Dominican Republic won their fifth gold medal in the history of the Women’s Pan American Volleyball Cup after beating Mexico in consecutive sets 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-14).

The Dominicans joined the 2005 Cuban team as the only sides in history to have finished undefeated in a cup without losing a single set.

It was fitting that in her retirement game their captain Prisilla Rivera shared the lead in scoring for the Dominicans with Jineiry Martinez, both with 13 points.

United States defeated Canada in straight sets 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-17) in the bronze medal match.

Rivera also was named the Most Valuable Player of the event.

Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic reigned in NORCECA

Mexico hosted the NORCECA Continental Championships in both genders with the biennial event held on the cities of Durango for the men’s competition and Guadalajara for the women’s experience.

Puerto Rico won their first men’s title in defeating Canada 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-23) in the final medal match at Auditorio del Pueblo in Durango, Mexico.

Puerto Rico made history with their first gold medal, adding to their one silver medal and two bronzes; Canada finished second for sixth occasion while they also have one gold and 14 bronze medals.

Mexico earned the bronze medal in defeating reigning champion Cuba 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 30-28, 27-25).

Arturo Iglesias, the Puerto Rican captain, was selected the Most Valuable Player of the competition.

Meanwhile, Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-12) to remain the women’s champions winning their second consecutive title and third overall at Arena Astros in Guadalajara.

Four Dominicans scored double-figures, led by opposite hitter Gaila González with 19 points, followed by outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz with 15 points. Puerto Rico’s best scorers were Stephanie Enright and Marie Victoria with 19 points each.

The Dominican Gonzalez, the best opposite hitter and best scorer, took home the honors as Most Valuable Player.

Dominican Republic and Mexico won the U23 Pan Am Cups

Volleyball activities finally resumed in NORCECA Confederation in the month of August with Mexico and Dominican Republic hosting the U23 Pan American Cups.

The women’s event took place in the Mexican city of Aguascalientes and the men’s competition in Santo Domingo the Dominican capital.

The event in Mexico saw the Dominican side winning the gold medal for the fifth time with a victory over host Mexico 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-22) in the final match.

Puerto Rico won the bronze medal after defeating Suriname 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 29-27).

Madeline Guillen, who scored a tournament-high 22 points in the decisive encounter, was selected the Most Valuable Player.

Mexico took home the gold medal of the U23 Men’s Volleyball Pan American Cup after a 3-1 (25-27, 25-26, 26-24, 25-20) victory over Puerto Rico. 

Josue de Jesus Lopez collected 20 points as the top scorer of the Mexican side, including two blocks. Ariel Hernández and Diego Gonzalez also finished in double figures for the winners with 15 and 13 points, respectively. 

Host Dominican Republic earned the bronze medal with a 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22) victory over Guatemala.

Lopez was selected the Most Valuable Player while the most awarded individual player was Puerto Rico’s Pedro Molina, who was selected best scorer, best server and best receiver. 

Bethania in special place in volleyball

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, December 23, 2021- Bethania De la Cruz has an exclusive place in world volleyball.

The stellar Dominican attacker is not only the only player in the history of the pastime invented by William Morgan with three games of more than 50 points, but last week she added another link that separates her from the rest of the athletes of the discipline of the ball and the high net.

By taking part in the FIVB Club World Championship in Ankara, Turkey, Bethania set an unprecedented milestone by representing three continents in different editions of the annual classic.

She did it for America when she debuted with Club Mirador from the Dominican Republic in 2011, the second of three tournaments in a row held in Doha, Qatar.

Then she was present in Europe with Eczacibaci VitrA Istanbul of Turkey in 2015 and with Dynamo Moscow in 2017 when the event took place in the cities of Zurich, Switzerland, and Kobe, Japan, respectively, and has just played with Altay Spor Kulubu from Kazakhstan representing Asia.

De la Cruz contributed to winning the gold medal in 2015 where she teamed up at Eczacibaci VitrA with American Jordan Larson the Most Valuable Player.

During her long career, the Dominican has reinforced the Vaqueras de Bayamón and Criollas de Caguas teams in Puerto Rico, Toray Arrows and Denso Airybees in Japan, GS Caltex in Korea, Eczacibaci VitrA Istanbul in Turkey, Dynamo Moscow and Dynamo Kazan in Russia, Savino Del Bene Scandicci in Italy, Jakarta Pertamina Energi in Indonesia and Altay in Kazjistan.

The veteran attacker owns the most memorable performance by a Dominican player at an FIVB event when in 2011 she set the record for most points in a World Cup game in Okayama, Japan to score 42 in a win over Germany on 12th of November.

In that edition of the World Cup, Bethania was No. 1 in points scored with 228 in 11 games for an average of 20.72 per game and topped the winning services department with 25.

In those two categories Bethania was seconded by Argentinean-Italian Carolina Costagrande who had 186 points and the Japanese Nana Iwasaka with 17.

2021 FIVB Volleyball Age Group World Championships Generate Millions of Views

Last year’s busy volleyball calendar included the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Under 20 World Championship in the Netherlands and Belgium, Volleyball Boys’ Under 19 World Championship in Iran, Volleyball Girls’ Under 18 World Championship in Mexico and Volleyball Men’s Under 21 World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria all being held between July and October. 

For the first time in the history of the tournaments, the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship and Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship were both co-hosted by two countries.  

To ensure the athletes were able to shine, rigorous COVID-19 countermeasures and testing protocols were implemented to ensure the safe and successful delivery of the events. 

For the first time in history, every single match and all the award ceremonies from these events were streamed live on Volleyball World’s YouTube channel. The events achieved incredible viewership numbers with millions of volleyball fans worldwide tuning in to see the sport’s rising stars in action, including Italy’s Alessandro Michieletto.  

Before leading Italy to a Men’s U21 World Championship title, Michieletto was making an impact for the men’s senior national team at the EuroVolley 2021 and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

Across all the events, the watch time in hours on the Volleyball World YouTube channel increased by 21 per cent to 4.3 million hours. In particular, a Women’s U20 World Championship match between Thailand and Turkey generated over 263,341 concurrent viewers and now has nearly 1.5 million views. 

In total, the events produced over 38 million views on the channel. The coverage of last year’s Age Group World Championships also saw the channel welcome 40,000 new subscribers, while its reach on Facebook topped 18.6 million.