Cuba swept Guatemala to face Mexico in Semifinals

COLIMA, Mexico, June 20, 2024.- Cuba defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-12) to advance to the semifinals of the U17 Men’s Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico, where they will face Mexico.

Guatemala will compete in the classification matches for positions 5 to 7, starting against the loser between Canada and Nicaragua.

Cuba celebrate

Cuba was dominant, outscoring Guatemala 42 to 16 in attacks and 14 to 3 in aces. Both teams scored two points from blocks. Guatemala benefited from 29 Cuban errors while conceding 17 of their own.

Cuban outside hitter Samuel Rodríguez was the top scorer with 14 points, including 9 attacks and a match-high 5 aces. Andy Marrero added 13 points on 10 attacks and three aces. Julio Acosta contributed 10 points on 8 attacks and 2 service points.

Samuel Rodriguez CUB

In the first set, Guatemala rallied from a 17-23 deficit, scoring four consecutive points from Cuban errors and with a kill from José Quintana and an ace by Luis Mendizábal. Cuba led the second set entirely, scoring 6 aces, with 3 of them from Samuel Rodríguez. In the third set, Guatemala quickly jumped to a 3-0 lead, but Cuba rapidly evened the score.

Cuban libero Luis Paumier said, “We achieved the result in straight sets, but we relaxed too much, and Guatemala took advantage. The coach used the entire roster, preparing us for tomorrow’s very important match. Today, the opponent didn’t challenge us much, so I didn’t have to defend as much. I support my team in every moment from the court”.