Canada opens NORCECA Girls’ U17 with a tie-break win against Cuba

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, November 21, 2023.- Canada defeated Cuba in a tie-break 3-2 (26-28, 25-18, 16-25, 25-11, 15-9) to open their campaign in Pool B at the NORCECA Girls’ U17 Championship in Tegucigalpa, Honduras at the Jorge Galeano Gymnasium.

This is the first edition of the event that runs from November 21 to 26 and grants three slots to the 2024 FIVB World Championship.

In Pool B action on day two, Canada (1-0) will face Costa Rica (0-1) and Cuba (0-1) plays against Dominican Republic (1-0).

It was a roller coaster performance for both teams, where Canada started leading all five sets. Canada forced the fifth set capitalizing on their effective serves.

Canada led in every skill of the game, kills (50-35), blocks (8-5) and aces (19-13). Cuba scored on 28 Canadian errors and gave away 30.

Beatrice Pengelly CAN block

Outside hitter Beatrice Pengelly was Canada’s top scorer with 21 points on 15 kills, one block and a match-high of 5 aces. Outside hitter Natalie Wahlgren added 12 points on 8 kills, one block and three aces, joined by opposite Dasia Smith with 11 points on 5 kills, two blocks and four aces.

On Cuba’s side, outside hitter Salet Castillo scored 21 points on 15 kills, two blocks and four aces, and team captain Yesica Brito contributed 12 points on 8 kills and four aces.

“This match was amazing even though we came out not strong on serves. We came out strong in the end and the fifth set was so live; we were so hype and it was a great win. Our communication can be better” said Beatrice Pengelly.

Yesica Brito, captain of Cuba indicated “Honestly, I think the nerves contributed to performing with ups and downs, because it’s the first time we travel outside to represent Cuba. Tomorrow we will recover with our attacks which are our best weapon”.