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”.