Newcomers Portes-Martinez win NORCECA Beach Tour in Varadero

VARADERO, Cuba, May 14, 2023.- NORCECA Beach Tour newcomers, Lázaro Portes and Daniel Martínez of Cuba surprised in their two last performances, sensationally conquering the second stage.

The victory of Portes and his giant partner (2.17 meters tall) over the experienced USA’s Troy Field and Tucker Silila in three exciting sets (21-18, 19-21, 15-10) in 55 minutes, was unexpected.

«I believe it was a tactical performance and not taking in account our physical preparation and technique, and how we might benefit from our height, we also had to think about what to do on the court», said Martínez Campos, son of Mabel, former player of many national indoor teams.

Nevertheless, their amazing feat was beating the Cuban A team of Noslen Díaz and Jorge Luis Alayo, who in 2022 won four NORCECA Tour medals, the NORCECA world championship qualifier, ranked 17 in worlds and champions of the I Junior Central American and Caribbean Sea and Beach Games of Santa Marta, Colombia, and this year newcomers at the Beach Pro Tour with an outstanding performance.

Portes and Martinez didn’t think of their opponent’s history nor their condition of tournament favorites. They followed coaches Alvarez Cutiño and Walfrido Salas instructions just to play. They remained connected, determined, and in 42 minutes they earned the sensational victory 21-14 and 21-18.

Varadero Men’s Gold Medal Match

«I am excited to have beat our compatriots, who we respect because in such a short time they have significant results, it’s wonderful», Lazaro expressed, who is shorter but skillful which combines with Daniel’s extraordinary height.

Just like in last years’ first time competing, Diaz and Alayo couldn’t win in Varadero, but they claimed the bronze once again after dominating Mexicans Jorge Barajas and Gabriel Cruz 21-16 and 21-18 in 36 minutes .

Precisamente Barajas y Cruz cayeron en la otra semifinal frente a los norteños Field y Tucker en dos parciales por 2-0 (14-21, 19-21).

Fifth place went to Canadians Jake MacNeil and William Russell, who without setbacks defeated Dominicans Oscar Martínez and Francisco de Jesús Goris 2-0 (21-11, 21-15).

Full results of this phase are at Cuba 2023 NORCECA Beach Tour.

USA Lindstrom and Van Gunst Champions of Varadero NORCECA Beach Tour

VARADERO, Cuba, May 14, 2023.- Katie Lindstrom/Teegan Van Gunst of the United States prevailed over Mexico’s Susana Torres and Atenas Gutiérrez to become champions of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour second stage at the courts beside Barceló Arenas Blancas Hotel.

The golden pair was fourth place in the first stage in Aguascalientes, where the local team of Atenas with Abril Flores won against the northern team of Urango and Skjodt.

«We are now very happy with our first podium of the year because we are a strong team, what happened in Aguascalientes was that Katie got sick and couldn’t finish well, but in the 2022 Tour we won two gold medals and the same number of silver medals», explained Teegan, number two on her uniform.

Katie, who works as a researcher for a coffee company, and Teegan, kids beach volleyball coach, said they will be competing in a strong leg of the AVP.

They both said they had a great time in their first trip to Cuba, especially in Varadero. «We loved it, it’s a nice place, a beautiful beach and good people, kind and helpful with us».

Katie Lindstrom and Teegan Van Gust USA celebrate Gold Medal

The bronze medal went to Geena Urango and Carly Skjodt defeating Canadians Ruby Sorra and Lea Monkhouse 2-0 (21-18, 21-19).

In semifinals Katie and Teegan won to their compatriots Urango and Skjodt 2-1 (21-18, 21-14, 15-12) in 54 minutes of actions under the sun.

On their side, Mexicans Susana Torres/Atenas Gutiérrez moved forward dominating Canadians Ruby Sorra/Lea Monkhouse 2-1 (21-12, 17-21, 17-15) in 57 minutes.

For fifth place, Puerto Ricans Allanis Navas/María González beat Cubans Yenifer Rivera and Amanda Armenteros 2-0 (21-6, 21-14) in only 29 minutes, their second victory in the tournament over the home team.

Seventh place went to Dominicans Esmeralda Ramirez and Julibeth Payano, executors of hosts Nahomi Charlot and Maykelín Drik  2-1 (21-14, 15-21, 15-9)  and nineth place to Nicaraguans Margarita López and Lolette Rodríguez , winners against Canadians Devin Corah and Adriel Goodman 2-1 (21-16, 16-21, 19-17).

Full results of this phase are at Cuba 2023 NORCECA Beach Tour.

Two USA teams, Mexico and Canada in Varadero semifinals

VARADERO, Cuba, May 13, 2023.- United States with its two pairs, Mexico and Canada won the right to play in the women’s semifinals at the second stage of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit.

Geena and Carly in some way got the thorn out during pool-play, winning group C to Mexican Atenas, who joined by Abril Flores beat them for the title of the first stop in Aguascalientes.

Nevertheless, they might meet again, now Atenas teaming with Susana Torres who won bronze in Aguascalientes. But for that to happen the Mexicans must dominate Canada and Geena and Carly their compatriots Katie and Teegan.  

In quarterfinals Geena and Carly prevailed over Dominicans Esmeralda Ramirez/Julibeth Payano 21-15 and 21-13,while their teammates had no mercy against Cubans Yenifer Rivera/Amanda Armenteros 21-11 and 21-13.

The second local pair of Nahomi Charlot/Maykelín Drik were victims of Mexico who dominated  21-14 and 21-17.

Atenas Gutierrez of Mexico in quarterfinals

In the other quarterfinal challenge, Canadians Ruby Sorra/Lea Monkhouse moved into semifinals cutting off Puerto Ricans Allanis Navas/María González inspiration 25-23 and 21-16.

Earlier the Puerto Ricans won group A, but with resistance from El Salvador’s Yvonne Soler/Laura Molina 19-21, 21-5 and 15-12 in a game that lasted one hour and 13 minutes.

Laura Molina has shown she’s in good conditions recovering from giving birth to her third child four months ago and will celebrate mother’s day here in Varadero accompanied by her mother and new born baby.

Semifinals are this Sunday morning, as well as classification matches for positions 5 to 16.

Full results of this phase are available at Cuba 2023 NORCECA Beach.

Strong men’s contest to conquer Varadero Beach Tour

VARADERO, Cuba, May 12, 2023.- Seven male duos move ahead with two victories after a strong contest in the beginning of the second stage of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour being played at the attractive scenery just aside the Barceló Arenas Blancas Hotel.

The two home teams, in addition to Canada, Puerto Rico, United States, Dominican Republic and Mexico gave an important step eager to reach the quarterfinals to be held on Saturday at the conclusion of pool-play.

In group A, Noslen Díaz/Jorge Luis Alayo, favorites to step on the podium like the four times they did in 2022, didn’t even sweat against against Martin Jad/Jahhmal Small, of Saint Vincen and the Granadines (21-9, 21-9) and El Salvador’s Franklin Flores/Christopher Guardado (21-8, 21-9).

Canadians Jake MacNeil/William Russell also are undefeated in that group with triumphs against Flores and Guardado (21-16, 21-14) and Martin and Small (21-5, 21-16).

En group B the home team of Lázaro Portes and the 17-year-old of 7.11 feet tall, Daniel Martinez, didn’t stay behind in his tournament debut after winning in pool B over Guatemalans Andy Leonardo and Luis García (21-14, 21-16) and Nicaraguans Rubén Mora/Denis José López (21-12, 21-19).

Daniel Martínez Campos of Cuba

Puerto Ricans Kevin Rodríguez/Josué Rivera are in first place after winning in their two outings which extended to tie-breaks to beat Nicaraguans 26-24, 23-25 and 15-11, and against Andy and Luis  13-21, 21-19 y 15-12.

Americans Troy Field/Tucker Silila and Dominicans Oscar Martínez/Francisco Goris had no inconvenience to prevail over the teams representing Antigua and Barbuda (Adrian/Cairo) and St. Nevis and Kitts (Nage/Clerique).

The same happened to Mexicans who kept their undefeated mark in their two outings against the tandems of U.S. Virgin Islands  (Diehl/Ozarski) and Trinidad and Tobago (Williams/Whitfield).

The tournament will be broadcast live on the Cuban sport channel Tele Rebelde.

The full schedule and results are available at 2023 Varadero NORCECA Beach Tour.

Two Cuban pairs, USA and Mexico in Varadero men’s semifinals

VARADERO, Cuba, May 13, 2023.- Noslen Díaz/Jorge Luis Alayo and Lázaro Portes/Daniel Martínez of Cuba, as well as Troy Field/Tucker Silila of the United States and Mexicans Jorge Barajas/Gabriel Cruz advanced to semifinals of the second phase of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Varadero.

The locals Diaz and Alayo opened the day with their third pool-play win over Canadians Jake MacNeil/William Russell (21-17, 21-11) and Portes with Martínez dominated Puerto Rico’s Kevin Rodríguez/Josué Rivera (22-24, 21-11, 15-10) to lead pools A and Be respectively.

After 54 minutes of battling, Puerto Ricans had no luck in the quarterfinals having with on the other side of the net the stellar Cuban duo but couldn’t beat despite their resistance. Noslen and Jorge Luis advanced into semifinals not before battling for over an hour before sealing the game 18-21, 21-15 and 15-11.

In Semifinals the local teams will face one another due to regulations, while Mexicans Barajas and Cruz will clash in the other semifinal against Americans Field and Tucker, both duos also undefeated in their respective groups.

Jake Mc Clain of Canada battles Daniel Martinez of Cuba

In the quarterfinal phase the Americans had no difficulties in defeating trinitarians Daneil Williams/Fabien Whitfield in two sets  (21-15, 21-18), not like Barajas and Cruz had to push themselves to the maximum against Dominicans Oscar Martínez/Francisco Goris in three hard-fought sets (21-19, 16-21, 15-13).

Both semifinals will be on Sunday morning, as well as the losers of the quarterfinals so matches for positions five and eight will be decided in the afternoon, as well as matches for position 9 to 16.

This stage is being broadcasted by TeleRebeld sports channel online TVEO and on their Facebook.

Esta fase se trasmite por el canal deportivo TeleRebelde en su plataforma en internet TVEO y su página en Facebook.

All results of this stage are on Cuba 2023 NORCECA Beach Tour.

32 tandems at NORCECA Beach Tour in Varadero

VARADERO, Cuba, May 12, 2023.- The second phase of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour will consist of 32 duos from 16 nations running from this Friday until Sunday at the attractive scenery in front of the Barceló Arenas Blancas Hotel.

16 pairs per gender arrived at the famous tourist empire – at 142 kilometers of Havana – who took part at the preliminary and technical meetings, presided by Mireya Luis, in charge of the organizing committee, and Julio Martinez, director of competition.

The competition starts with a round robin pool-play, four in each gender. The organizers have set up the same number of courts.

In the women’s field, United States, Canada and Cuba have two teams, while in men the visitors present only one and only the hosts have two duets, with their best performers of the moment.

These countries are labeled as favorites to battle for the medals, but Mexico and Puerto Rico join in women with real options of taking a medal.

Atenas Gutiérrez, who back home won the first stage alongside Abril Flores, is competing in this occasion with Susana Torres.

Varadero, Cuba

Waiting for revenge are the losers of that final, from the United States Geena Urango and Carly Skjodt, maybe with more possibilities of removing the thorn, because Atenas is adjusting with her new partner. 

Nevertheless coming back on the sand are worldwide known on this blue beach, Puerto Ricans Allanis Navas and María González, first Champions of the first Central American and Caribbean Games of Santa Marta 2022 and runner ups of the Junior Pan American Games of Cali 2021, among other tournaments.

Navas and González in Santa Marta´s, Colombia final, topped surpassed the Cuban duo of Amanda Armenteros and Yenifer Rivera, and admitted their goal is to conquer this stage’s gold. 

The NORCECA Tour adds ranking points to the Confederation’s qualification to the Pan American Games of Santiago 2023 and the massive participation in Varadero is proof of the team’s interest in winning a spot at the Chilean Games.

Men’s teams

ANT Adrian Constant/Cairon Davis; CAN Jake MacNeil/William Russell; CRC Daniel Dyner/Jhostin Varela; CUB Noslen Díaz/Jorge Luis Alayo, Lázaro Portes/Daniel Martínez; DOM Oscar Martínez/Francisco Goris; ESA Franklin Flores/Christopher Guardado; GUA Andy Leonardo y Luis García; ISV Cullen Diehl/ Andrzej Ozarski; MEX Jorge Barajas/Gabriel Cruz; NCA Rubén Mora/Denis José López; PUR Kevin Rodríguez/Josué Rivera; SKN  Hendrickson Nage/Ward Clerique; TTO Daneil Williams/Fabien Whitfield; USA Troy Field/Tucker Silila; VIN Martin Jad/Jahhmal Small.

Women’s teams

CAN Ruby Sorra/Lea Monkhouse y CAN Devin Corah/Adriel Goodman; CRC Ximena Núñez/Kianny Quesada; CUB Nahomi Charlot/Maykelín Drik y CUB Yenifer Rivera/Amanda Armenteros; DOM Esmeralda Ramirez/Julibeth Payano; ESA Yvonne Soler/Laura Molina; GUA Natalia Girón/Estefanie Guerra; ISV Anz-Cristina Almeida/Amber Bennett; JAM Anesia Edwards/Petal Smith; MEX Susana Torres/Atenas Gutiérrez; NCA Margarita López/Lolette Rodríguez; PUR Allanis Navas/María González; USA Katie Lindstrom/Teegan Van Gunst y Geena Urango/Carly Skjodt; VIN Nikita Campbell/Shelena O’Garro. 

Four undefeated countries at the start of the women’s Varadero NORCECA Tour 2023

VARADERO, Cuba, May 12, 2023.- Both USA pairs, one from Canada and Cuba, as well as the one from Puerto Rico moved undefeated at the start of pool-play of the second phase of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour.

In group B the northerners Katie Lindstrom/Teegan Van Gunst took a stroll during sets 21-3 and 21-2 facing Nikita Campbell/Shelena of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while they dominated Guatemalans Natalia Girón/Estefanie Guerra 21-16 and 21-13.

Their compatriots Geena Urango/Carly Skjodt, despite having more resistance from their opponents, they smiled against Mexicans Susana Torres/Atenas Gutiérrez 21-17 and 21-14, in which this last player was part of the duo that beat them for the gold of the first stop in Aguascalientes.

In the afternoon they won with an even 21-12 to Costa Rica’s Ximena Núñez/Kianny Quesada to take the lead in group C.

In group A, Puerto Ricans Allanis Navas/María González once again beat Cubans Yenifer Rivera/Amanda Armenteros like they did at the I Junior Central American and Caribbean Sea y Beach Games Santa Marta 2022, this time 21-13 and 21-17, nevertheless they recognized the progress of the young local girls.

María González of Puerto Rico blocks Laura Molina of El Salvador

It took almost two hours and three sets for the Puerto Ricans in their second victory (19-21, 21-5, 15-12) against El Salvador’s Yvonne Soler/Laura Molina in which the match was interrupted during the first set due to an electric storm at the touristic city, that woke up under heavy showers.

The youngest local pair, formed by bronze medalists of the Venezuelan Alba Games, Nahomi Charlot/Maykelín Drik, gave good news to their country again winning twice and leading group D.

First the dominated the combative Dominican pair of Esmeralda Ramirez/Julibeth Payano in hard fought match that extended to three sets (12-21, 21-14, 18-16), while in the closing match of the day they had no setbacks in beating Jamaicans Anesia Edwards/Petal Smith 21-8 and 21-7.

Pool-play will resume on Saturday morning, where the two best pairs of each pool will play in the quarterfinal round, and the corresponding classification matches for positions 9 to 16.

The full schedule and results are available at 2023 Varadero NORCECA Beach Tour. 

The second stage of the NORCECA Beach Tour headed to Varadero, Cuba

VARADERO, Cuba, May 10, 2023.- The second stage of the 2023 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour is headed to Varadero, Cuba from May 12 to 14 at the Barceló Arenas Blancas Hotel.

The famous Varadero beach has hosted the prestigious North, Central American and Caribbean Confederation Beach Tour since 2011 and has been held consecutively up to 2022, except for 2020 and 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The “pre-registration” lists nineteen tandems in the men’s division and seventeen women, representing seventeen countries, which will be officially confirmed as well as the group  distribution during the general technical meeting on Thursday.

Canada, Cuba, United States and Mexico have pre-registered two teams per gender.

Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the U.S. Virgin Islands feature one team per gender. Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Nicaragua, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago are fielding one team in men, and El Salvador along with Jamaica have one women’s team each.

The host country has confirmed that their men’s stellar team of Noslen Diaz and Jorge Luis Alayo, will be competing here in Varadero. Diaz and Alayo entered the NORCECA Tour in 2022 and have earned four NORCECA Beach Tour medals (gold in Aguascalientes, silver in Punta Cana and the NORCECA finals also in Punta Cana, and the bronze medal here in Varadero).