Canada earns first win beating Cuba at U23 Pan Am Cup

HERMOSILLO, Mexico, July 19, 2023.- Canada earned their first win beating Cuba 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-19, 26-24) in Pool A at the U23 Women’s Pan American Cup being held at Hermosillo, Mexico.

It was a rollercoaster performance for both teams. Despite leading, Canada struggled to close the first set. In the second set Canada reached set point but Cuba evened the actions on a block and kill. Canada’s best set was the third, while in the fourth they battled hard coming from behind recovering two Cuban sets points before sealing with a block by Raya Surinx.

Canada led in every skill, in kills 49 to 41, in blocks with a comfortable 13-8 margin and in serves 9-6. Cuba committed fewer unforced errors, 29 to 32.

Middle blocker Jessica Andrews and outside hitter Raya Surinx led Canada’s attackers with 17 points each, with Andrews leading with 4 points from blocks and as well in serves with 4 from aces.

Canada’s setter Noble

Outside hitter Yalain De La Peña and opposite hitter Claudia Tarin scored double digits for Cuba; De La Peña contributed with 11 points and Tarin with 10.

Canada (1-1) will face Peru on Thursday to resume the preliminary round and Cuba (0-2) goes against defending champions Dominican Republic.

Isabella Noble, setter of Canada: “We had a competitive mind-set and it set us up for success really well. We came together as a team well and it feels really good. We hope to bring the same energy for our next match, we’re ready for it”.

Carolyn O’Dwyer, coach of Canada: “It feels good to get the result. We made a lot of improvement from yesterday and we’re getting better every day. At times we were still a little shaky on our side, but we were able to pull off the win and that shows a lot of fight from us”.

Wilfredo Robinson, coach of Cuba: “We recover balls, but we can’t’ keep the advantage. In the offense we were weak. We keep failing and handing out opportunities to our rival”.