Puerto Rico Triumphs Over Cuba in Five Sets

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, June 27, 2024. – The Puerto Rican team needed the full five sets to defeat Cuba 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 20-25, 16-25, 15-6) in their debut at the NORCECA Women’s Final Six tournament being held at the “Ricardo Arias” Pavilion.

The Puerto Ricans (1-0) were led offensively by Grace López, who was the top scorer of the match with 23 points, along with Neira Ortiz and Stephanie Rivera, who each added 14 points. For Cuba, which now holds a 0-2 record, the best performers were Jessica Aguilera with 11 points, and both their captain Laura Suarez and Ivy Vila contributing 10 points each.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico outperformed Cuba in attacks (61-54) and in serves (10-1), while Cuba had a slight edge in blocks (9-8).

Shara Venegas, captain of Puerto Rico:  What I can tell you is that we started with a lot of intensity in the first two sets, then Cuba raised their level and won the third and fourth sets because we let our guard down a bit. This happens to the best teams in the world, and we need to go through these things to keep improving as a team.

Laura Suarez, captain of Cuba: I think we started playing too confident, without the fighting spirit. We played better in the third and fourth sets, but the anxiety to win played against us in the fifth set. It didn’t go our way, and Puerto Rico took advantage of that moment.