Drost/Caldwell and Alayo/Diaz unbeaten at the start of the NORCECA Beach Tour

VARADERO, Cuba, May 3, 2024 – James Drost and Cody Caldwell (USA-2) and Jorge Luis Alayo and Noslen Diaz (Cuba-1) went undefeated through in the group elimination round in the opening day of the second phase of the 2024 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour at the attractive venue of this international resort.

The Americans managed to defeat their three opponents of the day in group B. In this order, they swept Nicaraguans Rubén Mora and Denis López (21-17, 21-18) and Canadians Arrán Chambers and Robert Kemp (21-18, 21-18), but they had to push against the young debutants, Damián Gómez and Eblis Veranes, from Cuba, to overcome them in a tiebreaker 2-1 (21-19, 15-21, 17-15).

On the other hand, the main local duo of Jorge Luis Alayo and Noslen Diaz had no setbacks in defeating Joshua Dwarkasing and David Pinas (SUR-1) in two sets (21-8, 21-10), and similarly against Garret Bucklin and Robert Cronshaw (ISV-1) 2-0 (21-14, 21-12).

The hosts emerge as favorites to triumph in this stop, following their outstanding performances in several events in the FIVB Beach Pro Tour in search of the necessary points to qualify through the world ranking for the Paris Olympic Games.

Noslen Diaz de CUB ante David Pinas de SUR

On Saturday, they must face the duos from Guatemala and El Salvador, against whom they should not have difficulties given their physical and technical form, while Americans Drost and Caldwell only have one match, against the second team from Suriname.

On day two of the event, the matches of each group will be completed to continue with the quarterfinal round and define the pairs that will advance to the semifinals.

Friday’s results:

Group A: Alayo/Diaz (CUB-1) def. Dwarkasing/Pinas (SUR-1) 2-0 (21-8, 21-10); Bucklin/Cronshaw (ISV-1) def. Guardado C./Guardado Y. (ESA) 2-0 (21-18, 21-12); Alayo/Diaz (CUB) def. Bucklin/Cronshaw (ISV-1) 2-0 (21-14, 21-12); Izaguirre/García (GUA) def. Dwarkasing/Pinas (SUR-1) 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-13); Guardado C./Guardado Y. (ESA) def. Izaguirre/García (GUA) 2-1 (21-12, 20-22, 15-12) and Bucklin/Cronshaw (ISV-1) def. Dwarkasing/Pinas (SUR-1) 2-0 (21-7, 21-14).

Group B: Chambers/Kemp (CAN-1) def. Gómez/Veranes (CUB-2) 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-13); Drost/Caldwell (USA-2) def. Mora/López (NCA) 2-0 (21-17, 21-18); Drost/Caldwell (USA-2) def. Chambers/Kemp (CAN-1) 2-0 (21-18, 21-18); Gómez/Veranes (CUB-2) def. Naarden/Sporkslede (SUR-2) 2-0 (21-10, 21-11); Mora/López (NCA) def. Naarden/Sporkslede (SUR-2) 2-0 (21-11, 21-16) and Drost/Caldwell (USA-2) def. Gómez/Veranes (CUB-2) 2-1 (21-19, 15-21, 17-15).

Group C: D. Dyner/Varela (CRC) def. Hodge/Clerique (SKN) 2-0 (21-12, 23-21); Rahnavard/Gannett (CAN-2) def. D. Dyner/Varela (CRC) 2-0 (21-11, 21-12); Cory/Harrison (USA-1) def. Rahnavard/Gannett (CAN-2) 2-0 (22-20, 21-17).

Group D: Penberthy /Mayer (ISV-2) def. Williams/Whitfield (TTO) forfeit team B; Penberthy /Mayer (ISV-2) def. Torres/Rivera (PUR) 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 15-11); Torres/Rivera (PUR) def. De Jesús/Martínez (DOM) 2-0 (21-19, 21-15).