HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- Haiti defeated Nicaragua 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18) and finished in seventh place of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup.
The Caribbeans were better in blocking (13-5), evened in serves (3-3) and were close in attacks (50-54), committing fewer errors (26-31).
Haitian opposite hitter Estakend Beauvoir led all scorers with 33 points, followed by his teammate outside hitter Seraphin Antoine, who added 15. For the opponents, two players also scored double digits, outside hitter Denis Espinoza (14) and middle blocker Rafael Hernández (13).
Junior Siecle, head coach of Haiti said “We thought we could have reached forth or fifth place, we couldn’t reach our goal, but now we are satisfied of not being in last. Today my players performed joyfully and with a little more efficiency. If we could have played like this at the beginning, we would have finished in the positions we desired”.
Captain Dieulengy Relis said “we consider this a final because we didn’t think we were going to play for seventh place, we always thought of a better position, fourth or fifth. Every match is different, but if we would have played like today we could have move forward in our results”.
Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua explained “we would have liked a better performance, I didn’t come with my starting players, only two middles and the setter are here. We needed to by the airplane tickets six months before and we are on vacation from January to April. But this has been a great and nice experience, playing against teams like Cuba and Canada is a privilege and my athletes are leaving with another mentality. This helps us to defend our U21 Central American title next week”.
Ángelo Guadamuz, 16-year-old middle blocker, said “it has been a great experience for us, most of us are under 19 years old, and for some it was their international debut in a national team at a Pan American level. This is another game level, it’s different from Central America and you learn a lot in performing”.