Puerto Rico, Mexico, USA and Canada advance to Semifinals in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, December 9, 2023.- Puerto Rico, Mexico, United States, and Canada advanced to the semifinals of the women’s tournament of the fifth stage of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour after dominating the quarterfinal round at the Flor Blanca Sports Complex in San Salvador, El Salvador.

María González/Allanis Navas from Puerto Rico will face Atenas Gutiérrez/Abril Flores from Mexico in Sunday’s semifinals, aiming to win their third consecutive gold medal in the 2023 NORCECA Tour season.

In the other semifinal, Molly Turner and Deahna Kraft from the United States will compete against Lea Monkhouse and Marie-Alex Bélanger from Canada.

Atenas Gutierrez y Abril Flores MEX

María González and Allanis Navas had a tough closing match against Yvonne Soler and Laura Molina from El Salvador, who made a comeback from a seven-point deficit (12-19) in the second set before the Puerto Ricans earned a 2-0 (21-7, 21-17) victory.

Molly Turner and Deahna Kraft from the United States worked hard in the beginning of their quarterfinal match to win 2-0 (22-20, 21-14) against Canada’s Devin Corah and Adriel Goodman.

Marie Alex Belinger / Lea Monkhouse CAN

Meanwhile, Lea Monkhouse and Marie-Alex Bélanger, the other Canadian team, managed to clinch victory against Americans Avery Poppinga and Katie Lindstrom in a tight contest, securing a 2-0 (21-19, 24-22) win.

Both duos had previously competed for a spot in the quarterfinals, with Bélanger/Monkhouse winning Group D against Gutiérrez/Abril from Mexico 2-0 (21-15, 21-17), and Poppinga/Lindstrom finishing second in Group C with a hard-fought victory of 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 15-8) against Katherine Quesada/Eugenia Ramírez from Costa Rica.

Atenas Gutiérrez and Abril Flores emerged victorious in the match between the two Mexican teams in the event. Atenas and Abril defeated Katherine Albarrán and Yeray Vidaurrazaga 2-0 (21-14, 21-18).

Maria Gonzalez y Allanis Navas PUR

Earlier, Albarrán and Vidaurrazaga had advanced to the quarterfinals as first place of Pool C, winning their last pool-play match against Daniela Vigil/Keiry Guzmán from El Salvador in two sets, both ending at 21-13.

Women’s Results Saturday:

Quarterfinals: Gutiérrez/Flores MEX d Albarrán/Vidaurrazaga MEX 2-0 (21-14, 21-18); Turner/Kraft USA d Corah/Goodman CAN 2-0 (22-20, 21-14); Monkhouse/Bélanger CAN d Poppinga/Lindstrom USA 2-0 (21-19, 24-22); González/Navas PUR 2-0 (21-7, 21-17)

Classif. 9/12: Vásquez/Velásquez ESA d Silva/Lolette NCA 2-1 (22-24, 21-16, 15-11); Quesada/Ramírez CRC d Almeida-Anz/Bennett ISV 2-0 (21-10, 21-14)

Pool C Albarrán/Vidaurrazaga MEX d Daniela/Guzmán ESA 2-0 (21-13, 21-13); Poppinga/Lindstrom USA d Quesada/Ramírez CRC 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 15-8)

Pool D Bélanger/Monkhouse CAN d Gutiérrez/Abril MEX  2-0 (21-15, 21-17); Vásquez/Velásquez ESA d Austin/Charles ISV 2-0 (21-12, 21-19)