Cuba beats Puerto Rico in five sets to finish fifth

LA PAZ, Baja California, June 12, 2022.- Cuba finished the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup in fifth place beating Puerto Rico 3-2 (17-25, 25-15, 25-13, 18-25, 15-11) on Sunday at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

Cuba concluded the event with a 3-1 record and Puerto Rico with 1-3 for fifth and sixth position. Cuba also beat Puerto Rico in pool-play but in four sets.   

The Cuban team prevailed 60-56 in attacks, 8-7 in blocks and 6-4 in serves. Cuba committed 22 unforced errors and Puerto Rico 26.

Lisania Grafort spike CUB – Perez Janiangely, Flores Valeria blocks PUR

Cuban Outside hitter Hhitney James scored a match-high of 26 points on 22 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces, followed by outside hitter Claudia Tarin and middle blocker Lisania Grafort with 15 and 14 points respectively.

Outside hitter and team captain Valeria Flores led Puerto Rico with 21 points on 20 kills and one block, joined by middle blocker Mileidy Paret with 20 points on 16 kills, one block and 3 aces; and middle blocker Marcelle Baez added 10 points.

Rogelio Goytizolo, Head Coach of Cuba: “After losing the opportunity to qualify to finals, our athletes weren’t in their best shape; they went on improving during the match. Puerto Rico was highly motivated; we had some deficiencies in blocking and defense despite winning”.

José Rivera, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are glad, we gave our all. After winning the first set we were expecting their reaction, it was the same as in the past match. We told the players not to settle for only one set and keep pressing. We must continue working in the fundamentals of the game, we did well in blocking and offensively we were present”.