Canada beat Cuba to advance undefeated to U21 Pan Am Cup semifinals

HAVANA, Cuba, October 5, 2022.- Canada beat Cuba 3-1 in the most battled match until now and advanced directly into semifinals winning undefeated group B at the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

The North Americans celebrated with scores of 22-25, 25-23, 25-23 and 25-17 in almost two hours of action in which the crowd cheered from start to finish, with music and joy for the battled contest dwelt on court.

Canada prevailed over the hosts with advantages in blocks (10-7) and serves (10-3), while in attacks they held a smaller difference (48-46), while committing more unforced errors than the home team (32-29).

The local opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González once again finished as the leading scorer of the match with 24 points, followed by teammate Bryan Camino who added 13.

From the winners, outside hitter Reeve Gingera led his team with 19 points, while opposite hitter Brendan Mills and outside hitter Jacob Sargent contributed with 14 tallies each.

Tournament Page


Ben Josephson, head coach of Canda: “Some weeks ago when we came to Cuba with the group, we knew it was going to be a great match and very hard, and we did all we needed to do. And the match was as we expected it to be, and the fans were here always supporting their team. We made some tactical changes and the blocking worked well, and in the end, we pulled forward and get the victory”.

Gingera, the most productive of the team, said “the fans were magnificent, I was very nervous at the beginning because it’s my first international event, but little by little a overcame it. I am glad about everything and especially with the atmosphere here at the coliseum the entire time”.  

Jesús Cruz, Cuban coach considered “it was a difficult match, but it doesn’t keep us from our objective, which is to play the final to guarantee qualifying to worlds. We train to win, but also prepared for defeat. Today we lost against a team that had less errors and, in the end, we couldn’t sustain what we showed at the beginning of the first sets, we lacked concentration to close”.

Alejandro Miguel said “this match turned out to be complicated and hard, our game was better in the first set, in the following two we tried to include the middles more so the game wouldn’t be from zone two, it worked out well, but we couldn’t close. We must improve, but this will make us stronger for our objective of reaching the final, battle to win and qualify to worlds, we play for that”. The winner of pool A will be decided on Thursday after the match between the United States and Chile is finished, scheduled for 10 in the morning. Quarterfinals will be at 5 and 7pm.

Cuba defeated a combative Haiti at the U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, October 3, 2022.- Cuba defeated Haiti 3-1 in the closing of the first day of the U21 Men’s Pan American Cub, after the visitor’s tough performance in front of their fans at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

In the pool B match, the hosts had to calm their nerves and organize their game to stop their enthusiastic opponents and finally perform at their real level of play to overcome by 18-25, 25-17, 25-12 y 25-11.

In the end the host sustained advantages in attacks (47-27), blocks (9-4) and serves (12-3), but committing more errors than Haiti (31-24).

Opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González, under-19 and under-21 world championship player, scored a match high as well as the first day with 25 points, followed by outside hitter Bryan Camino with 17, the only ones with double digits for Cuba, also achieved by their rivals, opposite Estakend Beauvoir (11).

Tournament Page

Hatians celebrating

Jesús Cruz, Cuban head coach commented “the nerves and tension were visible, we committed more than 14 errors in the first set, we failed almost every serve. It seems it was an impact to play at Ciudad Deportiva with a competitive surrounding by the fans, the music, all of it is new for them. The moment to let out the tensions is in the first two matches, after that we can’t risk it against Canada”.  

Yonni Iglesias, host captain, said “we were a bit overconfident against an inferior team, but from the second set on we recovered. Starting tomorrow we will come out with confidence, glad, perform our match and battle to win the first place of the tournament”.  

Head coach of Haiti, Junior Siecle, expressed his joy “I am glad for the first set, but I knew that Cuba is better prepared physically, and it showed the difference with my team. Tomorrow we face Canada, we won’t have enough time to rest, but we will look for our team’s progress and to get more in the competition”.

The visitor’s captain Dieulengy Relis said “when we started, we were relaxed, we got in with all our force, but we knew they are a superior team. I am happy, we knew it was difficult to obtain the victory, but we are happy”.

Canada debuts with victory over Nicaragua at U21 in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, October 3, 2022.- The college team of Canada made their debut with a victory over Nicaragua in straight sets (25-15, 25-21, 25-11) in pool B of the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup, that grants two tickets for NORCECA at the 2023 World Championship.

The northerners enjoyed superiority in attacks (40-24), blocks (6-2) and a lot more with their lethal serves (9-1), but both teams committed 20 errors.

Outside hitter Reeve Gingera led all scorers with 12, joined by middle blocker Lucas Musschoot (11) and outside hitter Daniil Hershtynovich (10).  For Nicaragua the player that scored the most was outside hitter Josué David Blandon with 7 tallies.

Tournament Page

Canadians MASON GREVES (8CAN) and JOHN OBI (21CAN) block

Ben Josephson, head coach of Canada said, “we started a bit unfocused in serves and blocks, in the third set we were more effective while intercepting our opponents’ attacks, at the same time we did it with serves. We are glad to be here and that my players will grow during the tournament”.

Their team captain Cory Schoenherr expressed his joy in his team’s debut because “it’s an opportunity to share with my teammates. This first match was really to put together some details and improve thinking ahead of our next game”.

Rafael Francisco Hernández, Nicaraguan captain said “we were aware that it wasn’t an easy game, we lacked in receiving, nevertheless we gave it all. We lost, but we did what we could, and you always learn from errors, and mostly against a very tall team”.  

Nicaragua’s coach Jorge Mena manifested “Canada is a tall team, but we were able to play against them in the second set, but in the third we failed in receiving. They must overcome the fear of facing taller opponents. For me, they played very well, obviously with many errors at the beginning, they are young, and we are working in our development. This is a process for a long time ahead”.

Mexico beat Dominican Republic in opening of U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, October 3, 2022.- Mexico beat Dominican Republic 3-1 (20-25, 25-23,26-24, 25-20) in the opening of the Men´s U21 Pan American Cup at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

Dominicans started off with a lot, but their opponents knew how to establish their strategy and were superior in attacks (63-55), in blocks (10-8) and in serves (4-2), while committing more unforced errors (27-19) in a pool A match.

The leading scorers were Dominicans Luther Rosario, team captain, and Ronny Molina, both with 19 points, while from the winning team the players that scored the most were opposite hitter Ángel Domínguez (17) and Ramón González (14), followed by middle blocker Diego Esquivel and Leonardo Maldonado, 12 tallies each.

Head Coach Jorge Alberto Romero (Mexico) said “to lift the team we had to insist them the need to perform orderly and with discipline to help solve things, and that to play technically helps more than physical work. It’s very important for them to understand it, to solve the actions”.

Tournament Page

Mexico celebrates against Dominican Republic

“Our weapon was a directing and floating in serves, Dominicans have a good floating serve, but they don’t have reception and we took advantage of that, attacking to a player that luckily they never changed, and we worked on him the entire time and complicated their passing by the middle, which was harming us the most”.

Their team captain Jorge Robles gave his opinion “we were always united, we have our game play, and we can do well and more, because with this teamwork we can beat any team”.

Jorge Dante, head coach of Dominican Republic, recognized that “our reception and blocking fail completely, but the team is well, they are young, and I have two athletes that are adjusting, and I am observing who will stay, because our starting player couldn’t because he’s in college. We will continue to work on our deficiencies, I hope they improve in these two skills, because our attacking was good”.

Ronny Molina, Dominican outside hitter said “we started well, with attitude and confidence, but then came our errors, we thought the other team was weak, and we completely lost focus. I always trusted my team, nevertheless I believe we stopped communicating”.