Mexico remains undefeated at NORCECA Final Four

NOGALES, Sonora, June 18, 2022.- Mexico remained undefeated at the Qualification Tournament NORCECA Women’s Final Four after winning in straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22) to Cuba on Saturday night in Nogales, Sonora.

Mexico improved their record 2-0, the only undefeated team and is the favorite to qualify to the 2023 FIVB Final Challenger Cup.

The host prevailed 44-34 in attacks and held a slim 5-4 margin in serves; Cuba led 7-6 in blocks. Mexico committed 18 unforced errors and benefited from 20 Cuban errors.

Outside hitter Samantha Bricio topped Mexico with 13 points on 12 kills and one ace, joined by outside hitter Grecia Castro with 9 points on 7 kills and two aces, while middle blocker Jocelyn Urias tallied 7 points.

Cuban middle blocker Laura Suarez finished with 11 points on 8 kills, 2 blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Dayana Martinez chipped in with 9 points and outside hitter Claudia Tarin scored 7 points.

On day three, Cuba (1-1) faces Costa Rica (0-2) and Mexico (2-0) closes the event against Puerto Rico (1-1).

Flores (25) of Mexico against Cuba

Samantha Bricio, Top scorer of Mexico: “We have worked hard to play like we did today, and I believe all our supporters, technical staff are happy with how we performed today. Compared to Cuba, we were calm, we got out some tough obstacles; this team is a mix of experienced players and young ones that are giving a lot to the team. Tomorrow, we hope to do the same or better than today, we must close well, win and reach our short-term objective that is the Challenger Cup”.

Laura Suárez, Top scorer of Cuba: “We were aware that we were facing the host team and that they are coming for the Challenger Nations League; we should have battled more but sadly the victory wasn’t ours. We must learn, we needed more energy, yesterday was more emotional and today we didn’t do well”.

Rafael Petry, Head Coach of Mexico: “We were expecting to win because we have worked a lot for it, things worked well despite some aspects out of our control. The team was patient, they had the necessary calm to recover in reception and transition to reach victory. We hope for the same concentration, the same willingness, team effort and that they work for one another. We hope that added to our patience, we can have other strengths, with people that can give to the team”.

Joel Olazabal, Head Coach of Cuba: “We thought we could have won one set to Mexico, but we had deficiencies in passing, there is much to work on yet. The players got desperate because Mexico is more technical than us and defended a lot, watching that the ball couldn’t spike made them get confused and fall into errors. Mexico showed more experience. Tomorrow we must close strong, take advantage of our height against Costa Rica and play by the middle”.