Chile bounces back from first set loss to Puerto Rico in second victory at Santiago 2023

SANTIAGO, Chile, October 31, 2023 – Chile bounced back after losing the first set to Puerto Rico 3-1 (26-28, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23) in their second victory in the Men’s Volleyball tournament at the 19th edition of the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, taking place from October 30 to November 4 at the Arena Parque O’Higgins Arena.

Chile and Argentina, both with a 2-0 record, will determine first place in Pool B on Wednesday. Both teams are guaranteed to advance to the next round, but the pool winner will move directly to Friday’s semifinals. Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, both with 0-2 records, will face each other to stay alive in the tournament.

Chile led in attacking points (57-50) and service points (3-2). Both teams scored 9 points on blocks. The home team scored 32 points on Puerto Rico’s errors and gave away 29.

Ismael Alomar, PUR, attacks

Outside hitter Vicente Parraguirre once again led Chile with a match-high of 28 points (25 kills, 2 blocks, one serve). Captain Dusan Bonacic contributed 16 points (13 kills, 2 blocks, one serve), and outside hitter Matías Jadue added 9 points.

Opposite hitter Jamal Ellis led Puerto Rico with 18 points (15 kills, 3 blocks), followed by team  captain Pelegrin Vargas with 16 points (14 kills, 2 blocks), and outside hitter Omar Hoyos contributed 9 points.

Puerto Rico closed a dramatic first set after losing two set points. Chile recovered taking control of set two from the start, with a comfortable five-point lead (16-11) that later extended to seven. In the third set, teams were tied on several occasions, but Chile prevailed, pushed by Vicente Parraguirre, along with team captain Bonacic and Puerto Rico’s errors. Bonacic’s powerful serves prevented Puerto Rico from performing comfortably in the fourth, but the Chileans lost five match points (25-18) before securing the victory.

Vicente Parraguirre, Chile’s top scorer, said, “Playing at home gives us that extra energy to seek victory in these tougher matches. We’ve had two very challenging games that gave us a hard time at some crucial moments, but we came through; I’ll stick with that. Obviously, we have things to improve and work on, but we achieved our initial goal, which was to finish the group stage with Argentina”.

Jamal Ellis, Puerto Rico’s top scorer, said, “In my opinion, what made things harder for us was the lack of consistency in our passing at the beginning; in the sets, you could see it drop. Additionally, if we had maintained our morale, which dropped from what we showed in the first set, it would have been different. But overall, it was a solid game; it was just a minor detail that can be addressed and improved”.

Dominica first to reach three wins in ECVA U23 Male Championship

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, October 13, 2023. –  Dominica is the first to three wins in the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) U23 Male Championship. They rallied from one set down to claim victory over St. Maarten, in match 11 of the championship.

Top scorer for Dominica was Sherron Vidal. He tallied 14 points. St. Maarten’s top scorer was Marshall Leone. He was also the top scorer of the game with 15 points.

St. Maarten remained disciplined to their strategy keeping Dominica off balance with good serves. They also capitalized on several unforced errors at key moments to win the first set 25 to 22.

Dominica responded in the second set with a furious start, jumping out to a ten (10) to one lead and giving no leeway to St. Maarten for recovery. The set ended with St. Maarten serving into the net for Dominica to wrap things up with a 25 to 13 score.

Dominica continued with the momentum into the third set and countered St. Maarten’s resistance. Despite some anxious moments in the last part of the set to secure it 25 to 19.

Both teams traded points in the fourth set; St. Maarten desperately trying to prolong the game and Dominica working to wrap up the match. An errant serve by Team St. Maarten sealed victory for Dominica, 25 20.

“We didn’t play with our usual high energy and it showed but we are still very grateful for the victory,” captain Keaun Reefe admitted.

“We are still aiming to secure a top two spot in our group and advance out of pool play,” St. Maarten captain Rajheem Meulens indicated.

Dominica play Anguilla tomorrow morning, October 14, and St. Maarten (2 wins and 1 loss) play host British Virgin Islands in the evening. You can follow the live stream for the games here:

Impressive win for Canada in five sets 

PONCE, PUERTO RICO, August 9, 2023.- Canada impressively defeated Peru in five thrilling (3-2) sets on the fourth day of the XX Senior Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup at the Juan “Pachín” Vicéns Auditorium in Ponce. 

Canada (2-1) achieved its second victory with a score of 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 13-25 and 15-6. 

After winning the first two sets, the Canadian team suffered from a revival of Peru’s offense accompanied by effective blocking and defense. Peru rallied and convincingly won the third and fourth sets to spark a fifth set. 

Then, Canada made a magnificent comeback in the game by mercilessly dominating the fifth set, 15-6, and taking the important victory. 

Canadians Andrea Mitrovic and Hilary Howe contributed 19 points each. Mitrovic with 17 attacks, one block and one ace; Howe with 17 kills, 2 blocks; and Shainah Joseph added 11 points (10 attacks, one ace). For Peru, captain Karla Ortiz with 17 points (14 attacks, 3 blocks); Ysabella Sánchez with 16 points (15 attacks, one block); and María Paula Rodríguez with 14 points (12 kills, 2 blocks). 

Canada celebrates the win

Peru (1-2) will face Colombia (2-1) tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., and Canada (2-1) closes the preliminary round tomorrow against the United States (3-0) at 6:00 p.m. 

Shannon Winzer, Coach of Canadá: “I think anytime you’re able to win in five sets when you’re pushed to that fifth set and winning, I think that’s always a nice feeling. We still need to find a way to play consistently. I thought we controlled first contact well, but finding solutions on attack versus a very strong Peru defense was difficult for us tonight, so we must keep trying to find ways to find those attacking solutions. It is an important victory for us. I think this should guarantee us into the quarterfinals, so tonight was an important game for us for sure”. 

Francisco Hervas Tirado, Coach of Peru: “Playing well and losing is part of what happens sometimes. The team showed a good face today and the girls fought a lot, and they took the game to the moment we were able to win it. Unfortunately, in the fifth set, we weren’t able to find the rhythm at the beginning and it was already very difficult for us against the Canadian team who are very strong, very physical. But, we are happy and the girls have made a great effort. Now it’s time to think about tomorrow’s game. Tomorrow is another story and we will start from scratch”.

Puerto Rico debuts with a three-set victory against Chile 

PONCE, PUERTO RICO, August 6, 2023.- The host team of the XX Women Senior Pan American Cup, Puerto Rico, began their participation with an exciting victory against Chile (25-22, 25-17, 25- 23). 

Puerto Rico had a difficult rival against Chile, who surprised in the third set. Chile had an advantage, 8-6, 16-14 and 19-14; but Puerto Rico with six points in a row took the lead, 20-19, and ultimately won the set. 

Puerto Rico dominated in blocks, 6-1, but Chile was better in serving with 6 aces against only one for the locals. In attacks, Puerto Rico made 122 kills and Chile, 119. 

Pilar Victoriá was the best scorer with 17 points (16 attacks, one block), Alondra Vázquez (10 attacks, 1 block); Brittany Abercrombie with 10 points in attacks. For Chile, captain Beatriz Novoa was the best scorer with 16 points (15 attacks, 1 block); Florencia Giglio with eight points, all in attacks; and Paula Vallejos with seven points (6 attacks, one ace). 

Puerto Rico celebrates against Chile

Chile will play tomorrow against the Dominican Republic who had the day off, at 6:00 p.m., and Puerto Rico at 8:00 p.m. against Argentina. 

Fernando Morales, Coach of Puerto Rico: “A very good victory. Chile is a team that is improving a lot. Obviously, as they are hosting the Pan American Games, they are investing in their team to improve. It was a great match to start the Cup because it made us work and prepare for tomorrow against Argentina. Today we were able to win the third set while down and that is very important because we know that with tough teams we will be down, and today we did”. 

Shara Venegas, Captain of Puerto Rico: “Chile has a great team and a good level, but we were able to come out with the victory. This game was excellent because it prepares us for tomorrow against Argentina”. 

Alejandro Marín Hormazábal, Coach of Chile: “It was a tough game. We played with the local team in Chile’s debut. The truth is that it got complicated for us at some point in the game. In the first set we had a good match, and then in the third, we had it to win it. We are at the level of the competition and that leaves us very calm for all the work we have been doing. Tomorrow we are going against the champion (Dominican Republic), a very difficult team with very experienced players, but we are going to show that we have grown a lot at the South American and international level”.

RIZOLA: “It was a very important victory against Canada”

PONCE, PUERTO RICO, August 6, 2023.- Colombia was able to stop Canada’s push to achieve an important victory on the first day of the XX Senior Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup at the Juan “Pachín” Vicéns Auditorium in Ponce. 

Colombia defeated Canada in four sets: 25-19, 25-20, 24-26 and 25-19. 

The South Americans presented great defense, good service and effective blocking at the net to dominate the match. But, in the third set, Canada benefited of Colombia’s mistakes to take advantage. Both teams battled for control and with three straight points, Canada sparked the fourth set.  

Colombia returned to its game and took the win. 

Outside hitters Ana Karina Olaya and Amanda Coneo were the best scorers for Colombia with 16 points each. Olaya got 11 attacks, two blocks and three aces and Coneo, with 14 attacks and 2 blocks. Dayana Segovia had 12 points, on eight kills, three in blocks and one ace. 

For Canada, Andrea Mitrovic was the best scorer of the match with 21 points (16 attacks, one block and 4 aces). Hilary Howe with 16 points (15 attacks and one ace); and Layne Van Buskirk with 12 points (10 attacks and two blocks). 

Colombia double blocks Canada

Colombia rests tomorrow, and Canada will face Costa Rica at 2:00 p.m. 

Antonio Rizola Neto, Coach of Colombia: “It was a very important victory against Canada for two points: the Cup championship and for beating Canada (#12), which is ahead of us (Colombia #18) in the world ranking. A win against Canada represents a lot of points. I don’t care that we lost one, we have to win three and we did it.” 

Amanda Coneo Cadona, Player from Colombia: “Thank God that it went very well for us. We knew it was going to be quite difficult, but the team did what they had to do. We were very respectful of the rules. We had a bit of difficulty receiving, but we made up for it in defense, serving and blocking”. 

Shannon Winzer, Coach of Canada: “I think we lacked consistency throughout the whole game. It took us a really long time to warm up to play at the level that was required to beat Colombia. Colombia did a very good job defensively and hopefully next game will be a little bit more consistent. (Third set) it was a good set, but still we would get a lead, we would lose it, we’d come back, we’d lose it. So still lacking that consistency with First contact and just managing those simple plays. So, it’s great to come back. It shows a lot of character, but still, I expect us to play a much higher level.

USA sweep Poland and get one step closer to the top

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 24, 2023.- The United States scored another big win in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 on Saturday in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and continue their pursuit of Japan to get to the top of the standings.

The Americans gave no chance to FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Rankings leaders Poland, pulling out a 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19) victory in their last match in the Dutch city.

With seven victories in eight matches at the conclusion of the second week of the VNL 2023, the Americans head back home with 21 points and are within striking distance of Japan, the only undefeated side in the tournament, with eight victories and 22 points.

Outside hitter Torey Defalco played a big role in the American victory, leaving the court as the match’s top scorer with 17 points – 14 kills, two aces, one block. Fellow outside hitter Aaron Russell also reached double digits, with 11 points (eight kills, one ace, two blocks).

United States celebrates a point against Poland

Two other USA standouts were opposite Matt Anderson, who delivered nine points (seven kills, two aces), and setter Micah Christenson, who besides running the team’s offense, also produced six points himself, with one kill, one ace and a match-high four blocks.

Poland had in opposite and team captain Bartosz Kurek their most consistent player – the 34-year-old veteran produced 11 points (ten kills, one block). Middle blocker Norbert Huber contributed another seven, with four kills, one ace and two blocks.

With the two sides getting even in points scored by opponent errors (22 to 22), it came down to the actual skills to determine the winners and the Americans were most effective in all of them, outscoring the Poles in kills (38 to 29), blocks (eight to six) and aces (seven to two).

Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results

Women’s Beach Volleyball Round of 16 decided at 2023 CAC Games

COSTA DEL SOL, El Salvador, June 22, 2023.- The round of 16 teams that are battling to reach the quarterfinals in the women’s beach volleyball tournament of the San Salvador 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games is ready.

After an intense day of competition, with challenging matches, the best ranked teams of each pool are seeded for the knockout round.

Abril Flores/Atenas Gutiérrez of Mexico booked their ticket after defeating the Jamaican duo of Chauna Kelly/Petal Smith 2-0 (21-16, 21-6) in Pool A.

In the round of 16, Flores/Gutiérrez will face Teisha Joseph/Apphia Glasgow of Trinidad and Tobago who prevailed over Grenada in the qualifier match.

In Pool B, Julibeth Payano/Bethania Almanzar (DOM) beat Ana Maria Beltrand/Yaleny Moreno of Colombia (21-18, 21-15) and are ready to face Nelissa Ramirez/Shantell Arnold of Belize.

Julibeth Payano and Bethania Almanzar of DominicanRepublic

The Central Caribe Sports -CCS- team of Natalia Girón/Estefanie Bethancourt won 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) against Cristina Almeida/Amber Benneth (ISV). Girón and Bethancourt will meet Lisa Leblanc/Megan Calhoun of Bermuda in the eight-finals, they finished third place in Pool B.

Gabriela Brito/Juliennis Regalado (VEN), defeated Nahima Silva/Lolette Rodríbuez of Nicaragua 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) to top Pool D and advance into the eight-finals where they will face Deajra Tulloch/Chlouie Gaetos of Cayman Islands, third in pool A.

Maria Gonzalez/Allanis Navas of Puerto Rico beat Angel Williams/Kianny Araya of Costa Rica 2-0 (21-14, 21-9) for first place in Pool E and face in the round of 16 Ana Maria Beltrand/Yaleny Moreno of Colombia, who ended second place in Pool B.

Cuba’s Yenifer Rivera/Amanda Armenteros were first place of Pool F after beating Yvonne Soler/Laura Molina of El Salvador 2-0 (21-17, 21-16).

Cuba will play against Chauna Kelly/Petal Smith of Jamaica, second place in Pool A, while Soler/Molina (ESA) will face Almeida/Benneth (ISV), second in Pool C to move into the round of sixteen.

Silva/Rodríguez (NCA) and Williams/Araya (CRC) will meet in the Central American derby for the round of eight teams, both finishing second place in Pools D and E respectively.

Natalia Girón of Centro Caribe Sports (GUA)

Thursday’s results

Flores/Gutierrez           MEX     2-0 (21-16, 21-6)    Kelly/Smith JAM    

Beltran/YAleny             COL      0-2 (18-21, 15-21) Payano/Almanzar DOM 

Frankel/Tammenga      SUR     0-2 Forfeit of team A LeBlanc/Calhoun BER       

N. Giron/Betancourt (CCS)       2-0 (21-10, 22-20)  Almeida-Anz/Bennett ISV    

Wilson/Cuero               PAN      2-0 (21-14, 21-8)    Edwards/Lewis ANT 

Gabi/Juliennis VEN      2-0 (21-13, 21-14)  Silva/Lolette NCA     

Thornia/Stafford           GRN     2-0 (27-25, 22-20)  Allen/Lake SKN        

Gonzalez/Navas           PUR      2-0 (21-17, 21-9)   Williams /Quesada CRC        

Murillo/Bruhier HON     0-2 (16-21, 14-21)  Joseph/Glasgow TTO

Soler/Molina                 ESA      0-2 (17-21, 16-21) Rivera/Amanda CUB             

Ramirez/Arnold            BIZ       2-0 (21-17, 21-12)  Denila/Neptune LCA            

Thornia/Stafford           GRN     0-2 Forfeit of team A Joseph/Glasgow TTO        

Wilson/Cuero               PAN      0-2 (12-21, 20-22)  Ramirez/Arnold BIZ             

Edwards/Lewis             ANT      2-0 Forfeit of team B  Frankel/Tammenga SUR

Friday’s matches

MEX vs TTO 9:00 a.m. CC

ISV vs ESA 9:00 C2

PUR vs COL 10:00 a.m. CC

CAY vs VEN 10:00 a.m C2

GUA vs BER 1:00 p.m. CC

JAM vs CUB 1:00 p.m. C2

NCA vs CRC 2:00 pm. CC

BIZ vs DOM 2:00 p.m. C2 

Pedro Rangel the Most Valuable Player MVP at NORCECA Men’s Final Four

DURANGO, Mexico, June 11, 2023.- Setter and team captain of Mexico, Pedro Rangel, was selected as the Most Valuable Player MVP of the NORCECA Men International League Final Four that finished on Sunday at Auditorio del Pueblo in Durango, Mexico.

Pedro Rangel was a key player for his team to win the championship undefeated and qualified to the 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup.

Rangel received the MVP honors during the awarding ceremony along with other players of the champion team, they were Josué López recognized as the first best spiker, Victor Parra the award of second best blocker and Diego González the best opposite of the event.   

Dominican Republic, second place, lined-up the first best blocker, Luther Rosario, Henry López the distinction of best server and Enger Mieses received the awards of best libero, best defense and best receiver.

From Puerto Rico, third place of the tournament, Pedro Molina was granted the award to the second best spiker and best scorer, joined by his teammate Juan Ruiz as best setter.

MVP Pedro Rangel of Mexico

Mexico qualifies to the 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup

DURANGO, Mexico, June 11, 2023.- After five grueling sets host Mexico beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12) to win the Men’s NORCECA International League Final Four on Sunday in Durango and qualify for the 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup.

The FIVB Challenger Cup is the qualifying tournament to the Volleyball International Nations League (VNL), the premier annual FIVB tournament that gathers the top 16 best teams in the world.

Mexico finished the event undefeated 3-0 for first place, followed in second place by Dominican Republic (2-1 and 9 points) and Puerto Rico third place (2-1 and 8 points). Guatemala (0-3) was fourth place.

Puerto Rico’s sizeable unforced errors (51 to 35) was a decisive element in Mexico’s victory, who led by a slight 9-8 margin in blocks. Puerto Rico was better in kills 54-44 and in serves 6-3.

Outside hitter Josue Lopez led Mexico’s offense with 17 points (16 kills, one ace), accompanied 15 points from opposite hitter Diego Gonzalez (11 kills, four blocks) and outside hitter Mauro Fuentes with 12 points.

On Puerto Rico’s side, team captain Pedro Molina was the match leading scorer with 25 points on 19 kills, two blocks and four aces. Opposite Klistan Lawrence added 14 points all from kills.

Victor Parra #5 celebrating

Jorge Azair, head coach of Mexico indicated “Puerto Rico knew if they could win 3-0 they were the ones to qualify to the Challenger, they came out strong in the first set and we were anxious. In the second set we were calmed down, we committed fewer errors and we got the serves on court. My guys showed their courage; they qualified to the World Championship and had a good performance, now they qualify to the Challenger to battle for the VNL, they are worth gold, I am proud of them”.

Head coach of Puerto Rico, Jamille Torres expressed to be proud of his group, “we didn’t practice that much, as we warmed up, we were much better and that was the goal. Our improvement is notorious, and we’ll be ready to defend our title at the Central American Games”.

Canada ends first week of VNL action in Ottawa

Ottawa, ON (June 11, 2023) – Canada’s men’s team ended its first week of Volleyball Nations League action with a 1-3 (25-20, 17-25, 21-25, 21-25) loss to Germany on Sunday at Ottawa’s Arena at TD Place.

The German attack proved decisive in the match as both teams finished with one win and three losses. Canada’s win came over Cuba in five sets in their 2023 tournament debut.

Ryan Sclater and Stephen Maar led Canada with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Tobias Brand (20 points) Böhme (19) were lethal from the German side.

Canada returns to the court in the second week of the tournament in France, where they will play Japan (June 20th), Slovenia, Bulgaria and the host team, the 2021 Olympic champions.

More results:

USA drops first VNL match to Brazil

OTTAWA, Canada, June 11, 2023.- Brazil stopped the United States’ three-winning streaks  3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-15, 25-21)  in the 2023 Volleyball International Nations League on Sunday in Ottawa, Canada.

United States finishes the first week with a 3-1 record.

Watch Volleyball Nations League 2023 live on VBTV

The United States, who suffered their first loss in the VNL 2023, had opposite Jake Hanes and outside hitter Cody Kessel as their leading scorers with each of them leaving the court with 11 points.

The higher numbers of American errors (32 to 20) played a big role in the Brazilian victory, but the South Americans also did better with their blocking (nine points to five) and serving (five aces to four). The Americans were slightly better offensively, getting 51 kills to Brazil’s 50.

Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results 

USA defeats Costa Rica in three sets to reach the Gold Medal match

JUANA DIAZ, Puerto Rico, May 13, 2023.- United States defeated Costa Rica in three sets 25-14, 25-20, 25-6 to reach the gold medal match of the Girls’ U19 NORCECA Pan American Cup in Puerto Rico.

This is the second time in a row that the United States reaches a final and will battle for the title they won last year in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while Costa Rica is making history reaching their first medal match. Both await their opponent between Puerto Rico and Mexico.

The Americans held huge margins over Costa Rica, kills  (36-11), blocks (6-0) and aces (19-2), but Costa Rica committed fewer errors (14-27).

Abigail Vander Wal, outside hitter of USA was the only player who scored double figures, with 12 points on 9 kills and three aces. Blair Bayless contributed with 9 points and Loganlynn Parks scored 7 points, including a match-high of 5 aces.

Nhya Barley from Costa Rica ended with 4 points.

LoganLynee Parks, USA, spikes

Abigail Vander Wal, top scorer of United States: “Our energy was a lot better in the third set; in the second set we had miscommunications, and it just wasn’t going right. I’m sure we can keep our energy going into the gold medal match. We served tough in the last game and it’s definitely one of our strengths”.

Keegan Cook, coach of United States: “Costa Rica has had a wonderful tournament, in the second set they had a nice service-pressure, they didn’t stop playing after a difficult first set, so I give them the credit and our communication was poor. It was a nice response in the third set after I told them it didn’t send a nice message for tomorrow. I believe Puerto Rico is the most improved team in the tournament and if we face them tomorrow, we’ll need to do our best; it’s the match you hope to play in front of the home crowd. These are young teams and they’re learning the difference between expectations and aspirations, certainly many expect a lot from them, but this is just a small step in their careers”.

Keisy Fernández, setter of Costa Rica: “After losing two sets we lost energy. I think the United States had a lot of energy in the third set hence the score difference. Tomorrow we are coming with a good attitude to battle for the bronze medal, we are going to watch the other semifinal to prepare for either one. We want to win a medal for Costa Rica”.

USA opens U19 Pan Am Cup with strength

JUANA DIAZ, Puerto Rico, May 9, 2023.- United States opened the Girls’ U19 NORCECA Pan American Cup with strength over the U.S. Virgin Islands 3-0 (25-6, 25-18, 25-12) on Tuesday at Dolores Martinez Coliseum in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.

The US squad had a strong opening performance leading 37-12 in kills, 8-1 in blocks and 11-2 in serves, but handed out 21 points from unforced errors against 19.

With eight points each, opposites Olivia Babcock and Logan Parks, along with outside hitter Kaci Demaria led the US scorers.

On the U.S. Virgin’s side, outside hitter Anna Gillens led with 7 points and team captain Jala Dixon scored 6 points.

The next match in pool A for the United States will be against Costa Rica and the U.S. Virgin Islands will face Mexico.

Calissa Minatee (USA) spikes

Julia Blyashov, United States captain: “We had a lot of fun today, it feels amazing. We were a little bit anxious and worried about showing how the U.S. plays because it’s a big deal to wear the USA jersey. We are figuring out things together. There’s a lot more that we can do, and we were a bit relaxed in the second and third sets. I am super excited to show what the USA is all about”.

Jala Dixon, U.S. Virgin Islands captain:  “We played a great game today; we went out fighting strong and I am so proud of my team. I can’t wait to see what the whole week has for us. We need to be steadier with our service, at the beginning the team was shaky but we progressed as the match developed. Overall, we did great”.

Keegan Cook, United States coach: “In the first and second set we were a little disorganized in serve-receive and a few too many service errors, but when it was good it was really good, and I enjoyed watching some players making their debut. By the end of the tournament the girls will be better in communicating”.

Isaac Raphael, U.S. Virgin Islands coach: “This is the first time ever being in a competition at this level with this age-group and facing USA as a first match was a bit tough. We relaxed a little bit more in the second set and I am not disappointed, we know there’s a lot to work on, it’s a great experience for the girls”. 

Pools set for U21 men’s, U19 men’s and U19 women’s World Champs

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, March 31, 2023.- The drawing for the FIVB World Championships men’s U21 and U19 age categories, as well as that for the U19 women’s competition were conducted in Lausanne on Friday and were streamed live on the **Volleyball World YouTube channel**.

As for the draw for the U21 women’s tournament will take place in Mexico City on May 12.

U21 Men’s World Championship

The two finalists of the U19 Men’s World Championship two years ago, winners Poland and silver medalists Bulgaria, will clash with each other in a Pool C encounter that is likely to be the most anticipated match in the first phase of this year’s U21 competition in Bahrain.

The 16 teams to compete in the capital Manama from July 7 through 16 were drawn into four round-robin pools of four. All pool winners and pool runners-up will continue the race for the medals in another two pools of four for the second phase of the tournament. The top two teams from those pools will qualify for the semifinals. All teams will continue playing in the competition to determine the final standings in the places from 1st to 16th.

Pool A: Bahrain, Iran, Thailand, Tunisia

Pool B: Italy, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico

Pool C: Poland, Bulgaria, Canada, India

Pool D: Argentina, Belgium, Czechia, United States

U19 Men’s World Championship

The U19 Men’s World Championship will unfold from August 2 through 11 in San Juan, Argentina. 20 teams from all five continents will battle it out to take over the throne from Poland. The representatives of 2021 silver medalists Bulgaria and bronze medalists Iran lead Pools B and C, respectively. Hosts Argentina, who are also reigning South American youth champions from 2022, headline Pool A, while continental runners-up Brazil and incumbent European youth champions Italy will go head to head in Pool D.

The first four teams in the final standings of each pool will move on to the eighth finals to start the direct elimination phase. The remaining four teams, as well as all knockout round losers will keep playing to fix the final standings in all classification positions.

Pool A: Argentina, Egypt, United States, Serbia, Costa Rica

Pool B: Bulgaria, India, Japan, France, Slovenia

Pool C: Iran, Nigeria, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Korea

Pool D: Italy, Brazil, Belgium, Mexico, Chile

U19 Women’s World Championship

Pool D can reasonably be dubbed “the group of death” as representatives of many powerful volleyball nations will take on each other as they try to make it among the top four of the pool and advance to the eighth finals. The pool includes the United States and Serbia, who met in the bronze medal match of the U18 Girls’ World Championship two years ago, but also a few other strong teams that will make the outcome completely unpredictable. The other three pools are also quite impressive, especially Pool C, where 2021 U18 silver medalists Italy will take on mighty Brazil.

The U19 Women’s World Championship will be held in Osijek, Croatia and Szeged, Hungary from August 1 through 11. While the top four teams from each of the four pools will progress to the eighth finals and then hope to keep winning on the way to the final, all 24 participants will continue competing to determine the final standings in the places from 1st to 24th.

Pool A: Hungary, Argentina, Egypt, Cameroon, China, Chile

Pool B: Croatia, Türkiye, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Germany

Pool C: Italy, Brazil, Thailand, Peru, Canada, Bulgaria

Pool D: United States, Serbia, Poland, Mexico, Japan, Korea

United States Bronze Medal 2021 U18 World Championship

Navas and Gonzalez of Puerto Rico take the Gold in Santa Marta

SANTA MARTA, Colombia, November 26, 2022.- Allanis Navas and María Gonzalez of Puerto Rico dominated the women’s gold medal match of the first Central American and Caribbean Games of Sea and Beach 2-0 (21-8, 21-9) over Cubans Amanda Armenteros and Jennifer Rivera.

From start to finish, Allanis and Maria controlled the actions against a timed Cuban team who couldn’t respond to the experienced Puerto Rican duo.

After winning the gold, Allanis said “we feel super proud, thankful for the opportunity to represent Puerto Rico once again and glad to give them happiness with a gold medal”.

Maria Gonzalez added “thankful for the crowd’s support, watching them on the stands, they were the third player that helped us to want this victory”.

Allanis Navas Puerto Rico spikes

Allanis and María have had a couple of weeks of victories at the 2022 NORCECA Tour, winning the gold in Hato Mayor and the silver in Cayman Islands.

In semifinals, Puerto Rico beat Abril Flores and Katherine Albarran of Mexico 2-0 (21-19, 21-11) in a challenging first set, but then in the second they jumped to a huge five-point advantage (10-5) which the Mexicans couldn’t catch up with.

Armenteros and Rivera (CUB) advanced to the gold medal match in a dramatic semifinal win of 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 20-18) against Venezuelans Luisana Linares and Yhonnielis Camacho. Linares and Camacho performed with great skills managing the game, but Armenteros and Rivera came out on top with strength over the net.

Flores and Albarran of Mexico won the bronze medal, with a comfortable 2-0 (21-8, 21-15) victory over Linares and Camacho of Venezuela.

Women’s Results Saturday

SEMIFINALS PUR d MEX 2-0 (21-19, 21-11); CUB d VEN 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 20-18)

SILVER MEDAL MEX d VEN 2-0 (21-8, 21-15); GOLD MEDAL PUR d CUB 2-0 (21-8, 21-9)

Cuba challenged by El Salvador in opening day at Santa Marta

SANTA MARTA, Colombia, November 23, 2022.- Cuban duo Amanda Armenteros and Jennifer Rivera were challenged by Gabriela Funes and Sofía Velásquez of El Salvador in a close 2-0 (27-25, 21-17) win on day one of the I Central American and Caribbean Sea and Beach Games in Santa Marta.

Amanda and Jennifer had communication difficulties in their pool C debut, but pocketed their first win, while Funes and Velásquez had an exciting first performance. Also in pool C, Britney Choon/Tsyan Selvon of Trinidad and Tobago beat Alexandria Ashman and Chevonna Lewis of Jamaica 2-0 (21-6, 21-18)

Hosts Ana Fernanda Beltrán and Vanessa Buenañoz, as well as Allanis Navas and María González of Puerto Rico, showed powerful performances in pool A. Beltrán and Buenaños overpowered Khrysti Rosa and Tia Kim Hughes the U.S. Virgin Islands 2-0 (21-7, 21-13) and Navas/Gonzalez defeated Suriname’s Shaniva and Sharon Balkaran 2-0 (21-8, 21-8).

In pool B, Dei Padmore and Serena Edwards of Barbados handled well Antigua and Barbuda of Jossanne Lewis and Nia Serena 2-0 (21-14, 21-10) and Venezuelans Luisana Linares and Yhonnielis Camacho managed a comfortable 2-0 (2-12, 21-14) victory over Kianny Arraya and Ximena Nuñez of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica

Mexicans Abril Flores and Katherine Albarrán celebrated opening pool D with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) victory against Alejandra Rosales and Nahima Silva of Nicaragua, followed by Chlouie Gaetosand and Deajra Tulloch of Cayman Islands winning 2-0 (21-18, 21-20) to Chenoa Evans and Clio Phillip of St. Lucia.

Pool-play will conclude on Thursday with sixteen matches; the winners of each pool advance into Friday’s quarterfinals, while second and third placed teams play the eight finals.

Wednesday’s Results Women

POOL A COL d ISV 2-0 (21-7, 21-13); PUR d SUR 2-0 (21-8, 21-8)

POOL B BAR d ANT 2-0 (21-14, 21-10); VEN d CRC 2-0 (21-12, 21-14)

POOL C CUB d ESA 2-0 (27-25, 21-17); TTO d JAM 2-0 (21-6, 21-18)

POOL D MEX d NCA 2-0 (21-14, 21-12); CAY d LCA 2-0 (21-18, 21-20)

Panama beat Costa Rica 3-0

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, October 23, 2022.- Panama beat Costa Rica 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-16) on day six of the XIX AFECAVOL Men’s U21 Central American Championship.

Panamá earned their third victory against two losses, reaching 14 points, to overcome Costa Rica who stands with 2-3, but with also 14 points.

David de León team captain of Panama ended with 17 points and Emanuel Pérez with 15, plus 11 by Víctor Pérez. For Costa Rica, captain Dowshel Smith had one of his lowest performances with 9 points.

Panama was better in attacks 46-23, in service 6-1, and Costa Rica led in blocking 5-4, committing 19 errors, against 11 from the winners.

Tournament Page

Panama celebrates beating Costa Rica

David de León, captain Panama: “Panama never gives up and always goes forward. An opponent so difficult like Costa Rica, with high leveled players, we did a good effort, focused because they are very strong. We are going forward and Panama has more”.

Emanuel Pérez, outstanding player of Panama: “Thank God the team came out with the result, we effort ourselves with all our heart, we wanted this victory, and we did. Now we are closer, we the possibility to win a medal, we have one more match and we hope to close well, strong and with Gods’ help”.

On Monday, Costa Rica faces El Salvador at 2:00 p.m, Honduras and Panamá play at 4:00 p.m.

Photo Gallery

ECVA Senior Female Competition to be fiercely Contested

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten, October 12th, 2022.- Seven teams are raring and ready to rumble to see would end up on the top of the heap at the end of the senior female ECVA volleyball competition on Sunday 16th October. Action starts this evening with three matches on tap.

The home team (St. Maarten) is confident that on Sunday’s final the crowd will see what home court advantage really means. In speaking to the press coach Leonardo Jeffers had this to say, “I have multiple reasons to be confident, we had an active season, the girls have been training for months, we have a very serious coaching staff, and the squad has experience and fresh talent so yes we are definitely planning to be in the finals”.

Coach Janzen Patrick of St. Eustatius believes that 2022 is the year his team will upset the status quo, “our girls have been training relentlessly for months, with one aim in mind, their focus is to do one better than the third place finish they had a few years ago. We are definitely going there with the aim of doing our best ever”.

Fitzroy Benjamin of Antigua was mindful to point out that the senior men won over St. Lucia in a similar competition and clearly stated that this is a signal of the changing of the guard; “we expect the same thing to happen in the females. In fact we have gone as far as to formulate a plan for the finals. This can be redounded to an overall improvement in volleyball in Antigua. The girls have had lots of preparation time and this is our moment”.

Saint Maarten preliminary inquiry

First time Coach Omari Hamilton of Anguilla was a little more conservative.  “This is my first time at this level and we have been preparing to show up not back down. Once we step on that court we are not backing down. We don’t expect to upset everybody but somebody, so lookout for us”, he warned.

Team BVI was not very optimistic. Coach Stephen Payne explained why, “this will be the first time competing since 2014. So, it’s a return to action for us. However, the girls showed a stark improvement in practice over the last several months and once this improvement manifests itself in the games it will spell trouble for the opponents”, he noted.

Grenadian coach Staciann Lake had some spice in her voice when she relayed her expectations, “our girls are hungry, they have fire within and are very talented, along with a determination to win are the perfect ingredients for winning the championship.  We have trained long and hard so in this tournament the crowd will get a good watch”.

Kendall Challery coach of the defending champs St. Lucia had the final say, “all of those teams coming to the competition know us very well. We intend to come as defending champs and leave as repeat champions.  This is based on the core of players that I have confidence in to deliver”.

Dominican Republic debuts with victory against Korea

Arnhem, The Netherlands, September 24, 2022.- The Dominican Republic began its participation in the Women’s Volleyball World Championship with a resounding victory against Korea.

The Caribbean Queens easily disposed of the Korean team in consecutive sets with a score of 25-19, 25-12, 25-15 in phase 1 of this competition. Dominican was better in attacks 42-32, in blocks 13-3 and in services 7-4.

The left-handed Gaila González was the most outstanding for The Queens with 17 points followed by Yonkaira Peña who added 11 units. For the Korean team, the best were Seonwoo Lee with 9 points and Jeongah Park with 7.

FIVB Women’s World Championship 2022

Puerto Rico falls to Belgium at the start of the Women’s World Cup

Arnhem, The Netherlands, September 24, 2022- The Puerto Rican team was defeated by Belgium in its first appearance in the Women’s World Championship.

The Belgians easily dominated the Puerto Ricans in straight sets with a score of 25-15, 27-25, 25-15 to score their first victory in the tournament.

Britt Herbots and Marlies Janssens led the Belgian attack with 25 and 14 points respectively. For Puerto Rico, the top scorers were Brittany Abercrombie with a total of 20 points and Stephanie Enright with 7.

FIVB Women’s World Championship 2022

Pan Am and Central American Games in stake at Women’s Pan Am Cup

HERMOSILLO, Sonora, Mexico, August 20, 2022.- The Women’s Pan American Cup is a qualification event for the Pan American Games and the Central American & Caribbean Games to be held in 2023 in Santiago and El Salvador respectively.

Excluding Dominican Republic and Mexico, who are already qualified for both multisport events, the highest-ranking team of NORCECA will qualify to the Santiago Pan American Games, while three vacancies will go to the highest-ranking teams among NORCECA and Colombia, for the El Salvador Central American & Caribbean Games.

Coaches of the participating teams gave their first impressions ahead of the event.

Carolyn O’Dwyer, Head Coach of Canada: “We’ve had a long training block, with a large group of this team, so we feel really ready for the competition and excited to play against some top teams.
For a lot of our athletes this will be their first international event and I am excited to see how they perform”.

Eduardo Niño, Second Coach of Colombia: “Our main goal is to qualify for the Central American and Caribbean Games. We have been preparing for over two months with professor Rizola in charge, also thinking about the World Championship, our most important competition this year. The team has been working hard and keeping active for all the Olympic cycle competitions”.

Pablo Acuña, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “The foundation of the team is the one from the Final Four, but we have other players which we want to observe. The team is excited and with desire to compete, we are in a hard group, but each match will be an experience for players and staff. It’s a great opportunity to plan ahead and be prepared for the Central American & Caribbean Games, which I have no doubt that Costa Rica can be there”.

Thomas Fernández Arteaga, Head Coach of Cuba: “This is a major competition for us because it’s a qualification event and our goal is to obtain that qualification; also, to finish in the best position possible to win the most ranking points possible and that will help us qualify later on. The team is going through a psychological hit because our setter couldn’t come (Greta Moreno) because of Covid, hoping she will come further in the competition. We are optimistic that Greta will recover”.

Marcos Kwiek, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “We brought some young players, some just made it to the senior team, it’s a good mix with our veteran players. Physically the team is not in good condition. We are aware of the importance of the Pan American Cup; it will be strong, and we hope to fight in the finals”.

Rafael Petry, Head Coach of Mexico: “The team is ready to compete, prepared for this strong competition, with opponents of great ambitions. We have new members of the team, to be part of the process of National teams and evaluate them”.

René Quintana, Head Coach of Nicaragua: “The team is here to take advantage of the competition, it is part of our preparation for the Central American Games coming soon in Guatemala. We acknowledge that the game level is above ours, but we will try that our opponents will work hard against us”.

Francisco Hervas, Head Coach of Peru: “Peru wants to make the most of this competition, it’s an interesting tournament with the opportunity to face teams that we usually don’t face. The team consists of experienced players and others that are moving up, it’s a balance to help us rebuild our team”.

Héctor Soto, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We usually have difficulties preparing our team when competitions take place in the summer because our professional league runs in this period, but at least the girls are in good physical condition, they have a good game level. We will try to determine our game style during the competition; basically, we are prepared”.

Bradley Rostratter, Head Coach of United States: “We had a great training block, three weeks to train alongside with the world championship training group and the preparation has gone really well for us. Some players have international experience, maybe 50% have played one or two international seasons, some even played VNL, we have a group of talented players”.

Mohammed excited to see volleyball return to CAZOVA

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, July 4, 2022 – Mushtaque Mohammed, president of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) says the regional sporting body is very excited about the restart of volleyball after two and a half years in the Caribbean.

Mohammed made this admission in confirming the staging of the CAZOVA Under-19 and 21 Championships at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Pleasantville, San Fernando from July 5 to 12.

Mohammed, said, “We decided to start in the youth and junior categories because those are the easier categories in terms of teams readiness while the senior tournaments will be held next year hopefully, and we are also hoping to have the Under-23s in December.”

The trio of the US Virgin Islands, Suriname, and T&T will contest the Under-21 Women’s Championship while the five-team Men’s Under-21 competition will feature T&T, Haiti, Suriname, US Virgin Islands, and Jamaica.

In the Under-19 age group, T&T, Suriname, Martinique, and US Virgin Islands women will face off while T&T and Suriname will contest the men.

The CAZOVA teams are competing to qualify for their respective NORCECA Continental Championship in 2023 which will serve as qualifiers for their FIVB Age Group Championship.

For the Under-19 category, the Under-19 Women’s Continental Championship is carded for February 5-13, 2023 in Puerto Rico with the World Championship set for July 2023 while the Under-19 Men’s Continental Championship comes off in Mexico from March 5-13, 2023 with the World Championship to be staged in August with the host country still to be determined.

In the Under-21 Division, the USA will host the NORCECA Under-21 Women’s Continental Championship from April 16 to 24, 2023 with the world event set for September in a country yet to be finalized while the Under-21 Men’s Continental competition comes off in Cuba from May 7-15 and the World Championship in September also at a venue yet to be named.

With regards to the small number of countries committing to the tournament, Mohammed noted that all the teams who are able to participate are really excited to come to T&T to play these events, but at the same time noted that some of the major powerhouses in the sport won’t be present.

“However, Barbados, who are among the defending champions in the youth and junior categories are not here,  and that has been a challenge as the Bahamas will not be here as well, and Jamaica will only have their Under-21 boys here.”  

A member of the T&T Olympic Committee Mohammed explained, “The challenges are not only limited to finances or readiness in terms of preparation and venue availability but also some of the countries cannot get flights to come to Trinidad because not all of the flights or airlines are operational at present so when we had more flights coming into Trinidad in the past, not all of these have started back operation since the lifting of restrictions brought about by the pandemic.”

“But, with what we have we are going to restart volleyball in CAZOVA and we are really excited that this tournament is going to take place and hopefully be something that we will all be proud of and be something that will re-stimulate volleyball in the Caribbean.”

“Additionally we are hoping to host for the first time in the region beach volleyball and so we are hoping that beach volleyball will also make a positive restart by the end of August, also right here in Trinidad, stated Mohammed, who is also an Executive vice president of the North, Central America and the Caribbean Volleyball Association (NORCECA).

With regard to the preparations for the double-gender tournament which will be the first to be staged by CAZOVA since the coronavirus pandemic in 2019, Daymian Stewart, president of the T&T Volleyball Federation (T&TVF) said they have been forced into a venue change.  

Stewart said, “Initially the T&TVF had hoped to have the tournament at the National Cycling Centre in Balmain, Couva, however, those plans had to be shelved due to the unavailability of the venue as repairs to the air-conditioning system at the Couva facility will not be completed in time to host the tournament.

Stewart added, “Basically we are just working on confirming the venue at Pleasantville as most of the other logistics are in place as well as finalising our transportation for the teams and officials and all personnel involved.

“The only challenge with Pleasantville is that janitorial services on the weekend and we have offered to make our own arrangements where that is concerned so that we can have a smooth flow of the competition,” stated Stewart.

The T&TVF boss added, “We need to do our part to provide positive activities for young people. It’s very hard but it’s worth it when young  Trinbagonians and Caribbean youth get opportunities via sport and this CAZOVA Youth and Junior event could not come at a better time coming out of the pandemic, “ended Stewart.

Participating Teams:

Under-21 Men: TTO, Haiti, Suriname, US Virgin Islands, Jamaica.

Under-21 Women: TTO, US Virgin Islands, Suriname

Under-19 Men: TTO, Suriname

Under-19 Women: TTO, Suriname, Martinique, US Virgin Islands