Puerto Rico and USA Women with Successful opening at Juan Dolio NORCECA Finals

JUAN DOLIO, Dominican Republic, December 15, 2023. – María González/Allanis Navas from Puerto Rico and Megan Kraft/Terese Cannon from the United States had a successful start in the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Continental Tour Finals that kicked off in Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic on Friday.

González/Navas, as well as Kraft/Cannon earned two victories in as many matches in pool C of the event, that grants ranking points for the NORCECA Olympic qualification for Paris 2024.

María and Allanis were decisive against Shanadia Sylvester and Saquanna Duncan from St. Vincent 2-0 (21-6, 21-6), and then defeated Cuba’s duo of Amanda Armenteros/Maykelin Drik 2-0 (21-16, 21-15).

In pool B, the United States duo of Megan Kraft and Terese Cannon, notched up two wins against Central American teams. First, they defeated Krisleen González and Iris Urrunaga from Panama 2-0 (21-11, 21-8), and then, with an emphatic 2-0 (21-3, 21-7), they outperformed Natalia Girón and Paola Alvarado from Guatemala.

Kianny Araya Quesada CRC

Kraft/Cannon will decide the top spot in their pool against Valentina Molina and Kianny Quesada from Costa Rica, who also started with two victories; 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) against Girón/Alvarado (GUA) and 2-0 (21-10, 21-4) against González/Urrunaga.

First place in pool A will be contested between Socorro López and Lolette Rodriguez from Nicaragua and Crismil Paniagua and Nallelin Tavares from the Dominican Republic.

López/Lolette dominated 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) against Cristina Almeida-Anz/Taylor Buckner from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Paniagua/Tavares also defeated the team of Almeida-Anz/Buckner, but in a challenging match of long rallies (24-22, 27-25).

Meanwhile, Atenas Gutiérrez and Abril Flores from Mexico opened with a convincing 2-0 (21-5, 21-9) against Heather Thompson/Stefania Gandolfi from Cayman Islands. Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain from Canada also defeated Thompson/Gandolfi 2-0 (21-4, 21-6).

Gutiérrez/Abril (MEX) and Pavan/McBain (CAN) will face each other on Saturday for the top spot in pool D.

The group stage will conclude on Saturday morning, followed by the quarterfinals and classification matches for positions 9 to 12.

Women’s Results Friday

POOL A: López/Lolette NCA d Almeida-Anz/Buckner ISV 2-0 (21-16, 21-13); Paniagua/Tavares DOM d Almeida-Anz/Buckner ISV 2-0 (24-22, 27-25)

POOL B: Molina/Quesada CRC d N. Girón/Alvarado GUA 2-0 (21-15, 21-16); Kraft/Cannon USA d González/Urrunaga PAN 2-0 (21-11, 21-8); Kraft/Cannon USA d N. Girón/Alvarado GUA 2-0 (21-3, 21-7); Molina/Quesada CRC d González/Urrunaga PAN 2-0 (21-10, 21-4)

POOL C: Amanda/Drik CUB d Vigil/Velásquez ESA 2-0 (21-14, 21-11); González/Navas PUR d Shanadia/Duncan VIN 2-0 (21-6, 21-6); González/Navas PUR d Amanda/Drik CUB 2-0 (21-16, 21-15); Vigil/Velásquez ESA d Shanadia/Duncan VIN 2-0 (21-15, 21-9)

POOL D: Gutiérrez/Flores MEX d Thompson/Gandolfi CAY 2-0 (21-5, 21-9); Pavan/McBain CAN d Thompson/Gandolfi CAY 2-0 (21-4, 21-6).