Gustavo Alvarez of Puerto Rico Grabs MVP Award at Boys U17 Pan American Cup

COLIMA, Mexico, June 22, 2024.- Gustavo Alvarez of Puerto Rico grabbed the Most Valuable Player Award at the inaugural Boys U17 Pan American Cup that concluded on Saturday at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima, Mexico.

Gustavo Alvarez was key leading his team with 27 points over Mexico in the gold medal match.

Puerto Rico also earned the awards for second Best Spiker to Adrian Carrillo, the first and second Best Blocker to Jorge Suarez and Dylan López.  Ignacio Cruz was granted the Best Libero and Best Digger awards.

From Mexico, Emi Diaz was named the first Best Spiker and Eduardo Escoto de Best Setter.

The awards for Best Receiver and Best Server went to Cuban Samuel Rodríguez.

Luis Mendizabal of Guatemala was named the Best opposite and Canadian Tyson Dezutter the Best Scorer with 113 points.

Puerto Rico Claims Gold at U17 Pan American Cup in 5-Set Thriller

COLIMA, Mexico, June 22, 2024. – Puerto Rico captured the gold medal at the first-ever Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup with a thrilling five-set victory (25-10, 23-25, 25-27, 25-16, 15-12) over host Mexico at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima.

Puerto Rico finished the tournament undefeated with a 4-0 record. Mexico took the silver medal, ending with a 4-1 record. Last year, Puerto Rico also beat Mexico for the U17 NORCECA Continental title.

Puerto Rico dominated Mexico with an impressive 20-6 advantage in blocks and outscored them 62-52 in attacks. Both teams had 4 service aces. Puerto Rico committed one more error than Mexico (28-27).

Puerto Rican captain and outside hitter Gustavo Alvarez led all scorers with 27 points (24 attacks, 3 blocks). Outside hitter Adrián Carrillo added 24 points (23 attacks, one ace), and middle blocker Dylan López contributed 12 points, 8 of them from blocks. Middle blocker Jorge Suárez also contributed with 6 blocking points.

For Mexico, outside hitter Emi Díaz led his team with 16 points, all from attacks, while Oskar González scored 10 points.

Puerto Rico started strong, dominating Mexico in every aspect to take the first set with a significant lead (25-10). The second set was tightly contested, with the score tied at 14, 18, 20, and 22 points. Mexico managed to tie with an attack by Emi Díaz, an ace from Tomás Villalobos, and another attack by Oskar González. After multiple ties in the third set, Mexico reached set point with an attack from Raúl Silva, but Gustavo Alvarez evened again for Puerto Rico. Mexico eventually won the third set due to a Puerto Rican error.  Puerto Rico controlled the fourth set thanks to the offensive contributions of Adrián Carrillo, Dylan López, and Gustavo Alvarez. In the decisive tiebreaker, the score was tied at 10, but two crucial points from Alvarez gave Puerto Rico the lead. They closed the set and match at 15-12 with a kill from Alvarez and a block by Dylan López.

Ignacio Cruz, Puerto Rico’s libero, said, “Mexico lost their rhythm but then regained it. This motivated us to push harder and speed up the pace of our game”.

Carlos De Sevilla, Puerto Rico’s coach, commented, “At this level, ups and downs are normal. Mexico came back from behind many times, and all credit to them, they are an excellent team. I’m very proud of my boys. In crucial moments, we were able to close out the sets. Mission accomplished”.

Cuba Wins Bronze Medal at Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup

COLIMA, Mexico, June 22, 2024. – Cuba clinched the bronze medal at the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup by defeating Canada 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19) at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima, Mexico.

Cuba recovered from losing the first set to secure third place in the event, finishing with a record of three wins and two losses. Canada ended with a 3-3 record.

Cuba dominated in attacks (55-46) and service points (3-1), while Canada led in blocks (9-7). Cuba committed 25 errors compared to Canada’s 33.

Cuban captain and opposite hitter Yosdani Medina led all scorers with 23 points, all from attacks. Key contributions also came from outside hitter Andy Marrero, who scored 15 points (14 attacks and one service ace), and Samuel Rodríguez, who added 12 points (11 attacks and one service ace).

For Canada, Tyson DeZutter led with 19 points (18 attacks and one block), followed by Seth Brunoro with 14 points (12 attacks, one block, and one service ace), and William Clarmo, who contributed 12 points (11 attacks and one block).

The first set was closely contested, but Canada reached set point with two consecutive points from William Clarmo, a block and a kill. Andy Marrero denied them with a powerful attack, but ultimately, Tyson DeZutter clinched the set for Canada with an attack. In the second set, Cuba finished strong, scoring the last three points with kills from Andy Marrero and Yosdani Medina, followed by a Canadian error. In the third set, Cuba dominated in attacks (11-6) and finished it  after a Canadian service error led to the final points by Medina and Samuel Rodríguez. Cuba reached match point in the fourth set thanks to a reception error by Canada, and two powerful attacks from Medina sealed the victory.

Lian Sem Estrada, head coach of Cuba, said, “In the final sets, we made adjustments, especially in our serves, changing their direction and placement. I think that was key to our victory. Given the experience gained, we should advance from our current position. I’m pleased because we have little time training, and the players followed the instructions well. I believe we’ll continue to grow as we prepare for the World Championship”.

Dan Ota, head coach of Canada said “Cuba is a very strong attacking team, and they were able to play with their style a little more than we were. We knew it was going to be a very difficult match and a difficult team to beat, I think our guys fought. Overall, our guys made too many mistakes in little things during the games. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the result. I am very proud of my team for getting better every day and they all have a very bright future in the game”.

Costa Rica Takes sixth place over Nicaragua

COLIMA, Mexico, June 22, 2024. – Costa Rica claimed sixth place over Nicaragua with a 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-15, 25-15) victory at the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup on Saturday in Colima, Mexico.

Costa Rica finished the event with a 1-3 record, while Nicaragua ended with 0-5.

Derek Farley CRC

Costa Rica led the match with a 51-46 advantage in attacks, a 13-8 margin in blocks, and a 4-3 lead in aces. They also benefited from Nicaragua’s 25 errors compared to their own 17.

The top scorers for Costa Rica were Derek Farley, who scored 17 points on  13 attacks, 3 blocks, and 1 ace; followed by Ethan Smith with 15 points on 13 attacks and 2 aces; and Deymian López with 11 points on 10 attacks and 1 ace.

For Nicaragua, Joaquín Padilla scored 18 points on 16 attacks, 1 block, and 1 ace. Keneth Urtecho contributed 15 points on 12 attacks and 2 blocks.

Joaquin Padilla NCA

Eladio Vargas, Coach of Costa Rica, said, “We had ups and downs with the players; at some point, we had to place them in different positions. These are kids whose morale fluctuates, which is natural at this age. Today, the player who won us the match didn’t have the same spirit yesterday”.

Jorge Mena, Coach of Nicaragua, said, “We lost our spirit. We played better yesterday and definitely with more enthusiasm. We have a team that knows how to play. Yesterday’s five-set match exhausted them physically, and we need to keep working on getting the athletes committed to training”

Mexico Mastered a 3-1 Semifinal Victory against Cuba

COLIMA, Mexico, June 21, 2024.- Mexico mastered a 3-1 (25-12, 22-25, 25-18, 25-17) victory against Cuba  in the semifinals of the Boys U17 Pan American Cup being held in Colima, Mexico.

On Saturday, Mexico will face Puerto Rico, the winner of the other semifinal, for the championship. Cuba will compete for the bronze medal against Canada.

Mexico dominated in attacks (42-31) and service points (7-1). Both teams recorded 13 blocks. Mexico benefited from 35 Cuban errors while committing 27 of their own.

Mexico celebrate

Mexican outside hitters Oskar González and Emi Díaz contributed 17 and 16 points respectively. Oskar scored on 14 attacks, one block, and two aces. Emi tallied 10 attacks, 5 blocks, and one ace. Opposite hitter Ricardo González also added 11 points to the victory.

Cuban captain and opposite hitter Yosdani Medina was the only player on his team to reach double digits, leading the match with 21 points. Medina made 20 successful attacks and one block.

Mexico controlled the first set completely, scoring 6 blocks that unsettled the Cuban team’s system. Cuba adjusted well in the second set, staying tied at 16 points and maintaining the lead with Medina steering their offense. Mexico bounced back in the third and fourth sets, quickly achieving a solid six-point lead (11-5) with Oskar and Emi putting pressure on Cuba, which committed a significant number of errors, especially in the third set (a total of 12), paving the way for Mexico to advance to the championship match.

Puerto Rico Advances to the U17 Pan American Cup Final Over Canada

COLIMA, Mexico, June 21, 2024.- Puerto Rico advanced to the Boys U17 Pan American Cup  final after defeating Canada 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20) on Friday’s semifinals in Colima, Mexico.

On Saturday, Puerto Rico will face the winner between Mexico and Cuba in the gold medal match. Canada will compete for the bronze medal against the losing team.

Puerto Rico led in attack points (55-44) and aces (7-3), while Canada held advantage in blocks (17-13). Canada also conceded fewer points on errors (22-25).

Puerto Rico

Gustavo Alvarez of Puerto Rico led all scorers with 26 points, on 24 kills, one block, and one ace. Outside hitter Adrián Carrillo contributed 14 points on 10 attacks, one block, and three aces. Middle blocker Dylan López scored 12 points, including 8 attacks, 3 blocks, and one  ace. Middle blocker Jorge Suarez added 6 points from blocks.

Canadian captain Tyson Dezuter led his team with 19 points on 13 attacks and 6 blocks. Outside hitter Seth Brunoro registered 11 points on 8 attacks and 3 blocks. Middle blocker Brayden Long also tallied 11 points, with 5 attacks, 4 blocks, and 2 aces.

In the first set, Puerto Rico managed to pull ahead by reaching the 20-point mark, closing it with an ace from setter Yael De Jesús. In the second set, Canada surged to a 4-1 lead, capitalizing on a Puerto Rico error and three consecutive blocks. Canada tied the match when Puerto Rico missed a serve (23-22), followed by a block from Brayden Long on Jorge Suarez. Key contributions from Maximiliano Aponte, Adrián Carrillo, and Jorge Suarez helped Puerto Rico secure the third set. Despite a comeback by Canada in the fourth set from a 14-19 deficit, which included an ace by Brayden Long, a block by Liam Ulrich, and kills by Brunoro and Clarmo, Puerto Rico scored three consecutive points to clinch the victory.

Puerto Rico’s coach, Carlos De Sevilla, remarked, “Credits to Canada; they are a tall and very strong team. I trusted my players because they have always shown resilience under pressure. We played a tremendous match and had a good result. Now it’s time to rest and fight until the end tomorrow”.

Guatemala With a Comeback Win in Five-Sets Takes Fifth Place

COLIMA, Mexico, June 21, 2024.- Guatemala came from behind to secure a 3-2 (18-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-14, 15-13) victory over Nicaragua, clinching fifth place at the first edition of the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico.

Guatemala rallied from a two-set deficit to finish the event with a 2-3 record and in fifth place. Nicaragua will face Costa Rica on Saturday in the match for positions 6-7.

Guatemala held advantage in kills (64-56) and committed fewer errors than Nicaragua (28-31). Nicaragua held an advantage in blocks (13-10) and service points (4-1).

Luis Mendizabal GUA

Guatemala’s captain and opposite hitter, Luis Mendizábal, scored 19 points (15 attacks, 3 blocks, and one ace). Outside hitter Juan Menéndez added 17 points (16 attacks, one block). Middle blocker José Asencio finished with 15 points (11 attacks and 4 blocks).

Nicaragua’s middle blocker Keneth Urtecho was the top scorer of the match with 25 points on  22 attacks and 3 blocks. Outside hitter Joaquín Padilla and middle blocker Antonio Márquez each scored 12 points.

Luis Mendizábal led his team to match point, and Menéndez scored the final point with a powerful kill when it seemed Nicaragua might take the win after tying the score at 13 and coming back from 11-13.

Juan Mendez GUA – Joshua Rivas NCA

After Guatemala’s victory, Luis Mendizábal commented, “I thought it wouldn’t be that hard, but it was. Nicaragua put pressure on us the whole time. We showed courage as a team, and that wore Nicaragua down. We fought for Guatemala and united as a team in the last three sets for the victorious result”.

Keneth Urtecho, the leading scorer of the game, said, “We had the point to win, but we couldn’t make it. Guatemala is undoubtedly a good team, and their best attacker scored several key points against us. We always sought victory, but unfortunately, we couldn’t maintain our advantage. We made mistakes, as anyone can”.

Canada Battles to prevail over Nicaragua and reach Semifinals

COLIMA, Mexico, June 20, 2024. – Canada fought hard to defeat Nicaragua 3-0 (27-25, 25-16, 25-20) and reach the Boys U17 Pan American Cup semifinals in Colima, Mexico.

Canada will face Puerto Rico in Friday’s semifinals. In the other semifinal, Cuba will compete against Mexico.

Nicaragua will play in the classification match for positions 5 to 7 against Guatemala; the winner will finish the event in fifth place, and the loser will play for positions 6-7 against Costa Rica on Saturday.


Canada managed to control Nicaragua thanks to their advantage in attacks (40-29) and blocks (11-4); they also held a comfortable margin in serves (4-2). Canada gave away 26 points on errors, while Nicaragua gave away 22.

Canadian outside hitter Danilo Skipina scored 17 points, including 11 kills, a match-high of 5 blocks, and one serve. Opposite hitter William Clarmo registered 11 points on 9 kills and two blocks.

Nicaraguan outside hitter Joaquin Padilla led his team with 16 points on 15 kills and one serve. Middle blocker Keneth Urtecho scored 9 points.

Joaquin Padilla NCA

Canada and Nicaragua faced off in an exciting first set where Nicaragua came back from a 13-17 deficit to tie the game, thanks to middle blocker Keneth Urtecho. Service errors from both Canada and Nicaragua extended the set to a thrilling 27-25, with a block from Canadian Kaysen Flaman securing the final point. Canada jumped to an early 10-4 lead in the second set and kept the lead throughout the set. In the third set, with Canada holding set point at 24-18, a kill from Axel Arbizu and three consecutive Canadian errors brought the score to 24-20. However, the winning point came when Nicaragua committed a service error.

Canada’s leading scorer Danilo Skipina said “Coming off the bench it was a rusty start, but it was a really good game, near the end I started to pick up on the reception on hitting. Both teams came together towards the end, it was a good experience. About the semifinals, Puerto Rico is a great team as ours; we’re just going to play together as a team and make sure we have good block-defense, in addition to do whatever we can to hit the ball and win on offense, make them work for it”.

Joaquín Padilla, top Scorer for Nicaragua, commented, “In general, we played well. We needed better reception. It was an exciting game. Canada had better block and serve. Tomorrow, we’ll give it our all against Guatemala”.

Cuba swept Guatemala to face Mexico in Semifinals

COLIMA, Mexico, June 20, 2024.- Cuba defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-12) to advance to the semifinals of the U17 Men’s Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico, where they will face Mexico.

Guatemala will compete in the classification matches for positions 5 to 7, starting against the loser between Canada and Nicaragua.

Cuba celebrate

Cuba was dominant, outscoring Guatemala 42 to 16 in attacks and 14 to 3 in aces. Both teams scored two points from blocks. Guatemala benefited from 29 Cuban errors while conceding 17 of their own.

Cuban outside hitter Samuel Rodríguez was the top scorer with 14 points, including 9 attacks and a match-high 5 aces. Andy Marrero added 13 points on 10 attacks and three aces. Julio Acosta contributed 10 points on 8 attacks and 2 service points.

Samuel Rodriguez CUB

In the first set, Guatemala rallied from a 17-23 deficit, scoring four consecutive points from Cuban errors and with a kill from José Quintana and an ace by Luis Mendizábal. Cuba led the second set entirely, scoring 6 aces, with 3 of them from Samuel Rodríguez. In the third set, Guatemala quickly jumped to a 3-0 lead, but Cuba rapidly evened the score.

Cuban libero Luis Paumier said, “We achieved the result in straight sets, but we relaxed too much, and Guatemala took advantage. The coach used the entire roster, preparing us for tomorrow’s very important match. Today, the opponent didn’t challenge us much, so I didn’t have to defend as much. I support my team in every moment from the court”.

Mexico moved into Semifinals with a Five-Set Win over Canada

COLIMA, Mexico, June 19, 2024.- Mexico won a hard-fought battle against Canada in five sets, securing a 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 15-13 victory to advance to the semifinals of the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico.

Mexico topped pool A with a perfect 3-0 record. Canada finished second with a 2-1 record and will face Nicaragua in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Mexico led in attacks (62-43) and service points (9-7). Canada had a significant advantage in blocking points, leading 18-7, and committed 26 errors compared to Mexico’s 38.

Ricardo Gonzalez MEX

The leading scorer of the match was Mexican opposite hitter Ricardo González, who tallied 23 points from 21 attacks, one block, and one ace. Outside hitter Oskar González also scored  double digits, contributing 21 points from 18 attacks and 3 aces. Emi Díaz added 12 points to the victory.

For Canada, outside hitters Seth Brunoro and Tyson DeZutter each scored 16 points. Middle blocker Brayden Long contributed 15 points, including a match-high of 7 blocks. Opposite hitter William Clarmo added 5 blocks to his total of 13 points.

Canada made a tremendous effort, recovering from a two-set deficit to push the match to a dramatic fifth set, where they initially led 6-4. The teams were tied at 10, 11, and 13 points. Oskar González then pushed Mexico to match point with a powerful kill, and the winning point came from Eduardo Escoto, who blocked Canadian captain Tyson DeZutter.

Kade Funk CAN

Mexican head coach Denis Omar Rivera said, “The victory came from the heart. Canada was very disciplined on the court and knew how to adjust against us. We will review the mistakes we made with the players, study the match, and be prepared for what comes next”.

Dan Ota, head coach of Canada said, “We know how to fight. We knew that we could recover from 0-2 if we made some good adjustments, and we did. Going into the fifth set anything could happen, we had chances to win and obviously they had a couple more points at the end. It’s a very good learning experience for us and that’s the number one thing. This environment, with the fans, was incredible and it makes things very special for this young group, it’s an experience that our players will never forget”.

Puerto Rico Makes it into Semifinals Winning Pool B to Cuba

COLIMA, Mexico, June 19, 2024.- Puerto Rico advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural Boys U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, after defeating Cuba 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-17) to secure the top spot in Pool B.

With a 2-0 record in the preliminary round, Puerto Rico earned a direct ticket to Friday’s semifinals. Cuba will face Guatemala in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Puerto Rico outperformed Cuba in attacks (40-34) and service points (7-2). Cuba led in blocks by a narrow margin of 7-6. Errors were balanced, with Puerto Rico committing 21 and Cuba 23.

Three Puerto Rican outside hitters scored in double digits. Maximiliano Aponte led the team with 14 points (9 attacks, 2 blocks, 3 aces), followed by Gustavo Alvarez with 13 points, all on kills, and Adrián Carrillo with 10 points (9 attacks, one block).

For Cuba, Samuel Rodríguez was the top scorer of the match with 15 points (12 attacks, 2 blocks, one ace).

Cuba started strong, jumping to a five-point lead (18-13) in the first set but couldn’t maintain it. Puerto Rico came from behind with attacks from Gustavo Alvarez and blocks by Maximiliano Aponte. Middle Julio Acosto with a kill, prevented Puerto Rico from winning at 24-23, but a kill from Adrián Carrillo and an ace from Jose Soriano secured the set for Puerto Rico. In the second set, Puerto Rico and Cuba tied several times, but from point 18 onwards, Puerto Rico held the lead. Puerto Rico opened the third set with a 3-0 run, extended their lead to 17-9, and sealed the victory at 25-17 with an attack by Adrián Carrillo.

Puerto Rico

Maximiliano Aponte, Puerto Rico’s top scorer, said, “The game was tough. Cuba has tall players and strong attackers, but with what we’ve practiced, we managed the match and got the victory. We kept our spirits high and executed well in defense, blocking, and serving”.

Cuban outside hitter Byron Herrera commented, “We started strong, but we relaxed because we had the lead in the first set, and Puerto Rico took full advantage of that. I think we need to improve our mental game. The more we play, the more opportunities we have to get better.”

Guatemala Defeats Costa Rica to Advance to Quarterfinals

COLIMA, Mexico, June 19, 2024.- Guatemala defeated Costa Rica 3-1 (25-18, 27-25, 22-25, 27-25) in their final pool-play match, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Boys U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico.

Guatemala concluded pool A with a 1-2 record, while Costa Rica finished 0-3. Guatemala will await their quarterfinal opponent for Thursday’s match. Meanwhile, Costa Rica will compete in the classification matches for positions 5 to 7.

Guatemala capitalized their win with significant advantages in attacks (61-51), blocks (11-7), and service points (6-0). Despite benefiting from 23 Costa Rican errors, Guatemala also conceded 35 points from their own errors.

Jorge Gonzalez GUA

Guatemala’s captain and outside hitter, Luis Mendizábal, led all scorers with 23 points (20 attacks, one service point), followed by Juan Carlos Menéndez with 21 points (18 attacks, 2 blocks, one service point). Jorge González also contributed to the victory with 14 points, all from kills.

For Costa Rica, the leading scorer was Ignacio Morales with 18 points (16 attacks, 2 blocks). Deymian López added 13 points, all from attacks, and Ángel Monge finished with 10 points, also all from attacks.

Guatemala dominated the first set and reached set point in the second set (24-22). However, two attacks from Deniz Vargas tied the score at 24. Guatemala regained set point at 26-24 with a kill by Carlos Menéndez, and Juan Zúñiga closed the set with a block. Costa Rica extended the match by winning the third set, led by Ignacio Morales and Deymian López. In the fourth set, Costa Rica rallied from a three-point deficit (17-20) to tie in the final points. Luis Mendizábal secured the victory at 27-25 with a kill and a block.

Ignacio Morales CRC

Juan Carlos Menéndez, Guatemala’s outside hitter, commented, “The key to our victory today was our setter’s intelligence; he read the opponent well. We wouldn’t be in the next round without him. We lost a very tight set that could have gone either way. In the fourth set, we managed to stay calm and played with strong attacks”.

Costa Rica’s coach, Jenkins Cruz, said, “We couldn’t recover our setter for this match. We came prepared with a strategically established plan, but you can’t anticipate injuries, especially not to the setter who distributes the whole game. The substitute player did well, but he hasn’t been with the team for long. The physical integrity of the setter is more important, and we hope he can play for the rest of the tournament”.

Mexico with Second Consecutive Victory

COLIMA, Mexico, June 18, 2024. – Mexico defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (28-26, 25-17, 25-16) to claim their second consecutive win at the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup, being played at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima, Mexico.

Mexico (2-0) will face Canada (2-0) on Wednesday to determine who advances directly to the semifinals from pool A. Costa Rica (0-2) will play against Guatemala (0-2) for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Mexico led Costa Rica with a significant advantage in attacks (56-24) and a comfortable lead in service points (5-1), although they conceded 27 points from errors compared to Costa Rica’s 12. Costa Rica outperformed in blocks (7-5).

Oskar Gonzalez MEX

Mexican outside hitter Oskar González led all scorers with 21 points (20 attacks and one ace). Emi Díaz contributed 19 points (15 attacks, one block, and 3 service points).

Costa Rican opposite hitter Derek Farley scored 7 points.

After a grueling first set, which Mexico won with a block by middle blocker Raúl Silva, Mexico came out stronger in the second set, quickly establishing a huge lead (20-10) that Costa Rica couldn’t overcome. Late in the third set (22-13), Costa Rican captain and setter Gabriel Córdoba suffered an ankle injury after a bad fall. Mexico sealed the victory with two kills from Emi Díaz.

Leading scorer of Mexico, Oskar Gonzalez, said “The first set was dramatic because we lacked concentration and our errors, it wasn’t about Costa Rica’s scoring more points. We were able to control the situation to take the lead. In the next two sets, we were decisive because we elevated our level of play, with strength in every element of the game, including in defense”.

Opposite hitter Derek Farley of Costa Rica said, “We couldn’t keep up the courage we had in the first set. We fell and we could have done things better today, like yesterday. I hope my teammate recovers soon. We followed our coaches’ instructions, but we lacked courage. We had trouble in not committing errors”.

Cuba Kicks Off U17 Pan American Cup with Victory Over Nicaragua

COLIMA, Mexico, June 18, 2024. – Cuba opened the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup with a decisive 3-0 win (25-14, 25-17, 25-12) against Nicaragua at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima, Mexico.

With a dominant performance in kills (38-22), blocks (8-3), and service points (13-3), Cuba secured their first victory in pool  B. Cuba committed 15 errors while Nicaragua had 16.

Cuba (1-0) will wrap up the preliminary round on Wednesday against Puerto Rico (1-0); the winner will advance directly to Friday’s semifinals. Nicaragua finished pool B with an 0-2 record and will compete in the quarterfinals on Thursday.


Three Cuban outside hitters led the offense with double-digit points. Byron Herrera scored 14 points from 10 attacks, 2 blocks, and 2 aces; Andy Marrero contributed 12 points from 10 attacks and 2 blocks; and Samuel Rodríguez added 12 points from 6 attacks and a match-high of 6 aces.

Nicaragua’s middle blocker Keneth Urtecho scored 9 points for his team.

In the second set, Nicaragua surprised Cuba by tying the score at 12 points thanks to the efforts of Joaquín Padilla and Ismael Martínez, but Cuba closed strong.

Julio Acosta CUB

Cuban team captain Yosdani Medina said, “We were more decisive at the start. We are getting into rhythm as we prepare for the World Championship, and today everyone had the chance to play and get warmed up. Tomorrow we will come out strong against Puerto Rico. We are very united and combined with our attacking power”.

Nicaraguan setter Axel Aribzu commented, “We had ups and downs; we lacked defense and better cohesion because we just joined from playing in the U21 tournament. We know we will do better; we are already in the quarterfinals and need more consistency in our attack.”

Canada Defeats Guatemala in Second Win

COLIMA, Mexico, June 18, 2024. – Canada won over Guatemala 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-15, 26-24) in their second victory at the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup being held in Colima, Mexico.

After losing the first set, Canada came back strong to improve their record to 2-0 in pool  A, while Guatemala remains winless at 0-2.

Canada concludes pool-play on Wednesday against Mexico, while Guatemala will face Costa Rica.

Tyson Dezutter CAN

Canada’s dominance in blocking (10-4) and service points (10-4) was crucial for their victory. Guatemala committed fewer unforced errors (22-36).

Canadian captain and outside hitter Tyson DeZutter was the leading scorer in the match with 24 points, on 18 attacks, 2 blocks, and a match-high of 4 aces. Opposite Kade Funk, who came in as a substitute in the first set, added 13 points on10 attacks, 2 blocks, and one ace. Outside hitter Seth Brunoro also contributed with 12 points.

For Guatemala, captain Luis Mendizábal led his team with 16 points from 14 attacks and 2 blocks.

Luis Mendizabal GUA

Guatemala led throughout the first set, but Canada returned with greater confidence to take the second. In the third set, Canada quickly built a commanding 18-9 lead. Despite Guatemala rallying from a six-point deficit (14-20) in the fourth set, thanks to a series of Canadian errors and strong offense from Mendizábal, Canada regained control and reached match point at 24-23, which Guatemala managed to stave off twice. Tyson DeZutter ended the match with a powerful spike.

Cruz Chittick, libero of Canada said “Our team relied on each other to recover from falling in the first set. Our resiliency was better than Guatemala’s, when they came down they couldn’t bounce back, while we bounced back in every sense”.

Edvin López, Guatemala’s coach, commented, “I think the boys were too anxious. We made mistakes, but we need to work more as a team. Some players are also overloaded from the U21 competition. We’ll aim for a win against Costa Rica to advance to the next round”.

Mexico Dominates Guatemala with Strong Serves

COLIMA, Mexico, June 17, 2024.-  Mexico controlled Guatemala with a significant service advantage of 14 to 2, securing a 3-1 victory (25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-19) on the opening day of the Boys U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico.

In pool A, Mexico (1-0) will face Costa Rica (1-0) on Tuesday, while Guatemala (0-1) will play against Canada.

Besides dominating in service points, Mexico also had the advantage in attacks (56-34) and blocks (6-5). Guatemala benefited from 38 Mexican errors and gave away 21 points on their own errors.


Mexican outside hitter Emi Díaz led all scorers with 24 points (20 attacks, one block, and three aces). Oskar De Jesús González contributed 18 points (13 attacks, one block, four aces). Ricardo González and Tomás Villalobos each added 11 points.

Jorge González of Guatemala scored 14 points from 12 attacks, one block, and one ace.

In the first set, the teams were tied several times until Mexico jumped to a four-point lead (19-15) with consecutive attacks and a serve by Oskar González. They tied again at 19 in the second set, but with two errors from Mexico and a block by Jorge González, the Central American team found the necessary boost to level the match after losing two set points. In the third set, Mexico scored 5 points from aces alone. Mexico won the match in the fourth set with a service point by David Preciado.

Juan Zuñiga GUA

Daniel Fajardo, Mexico’s captain, said, “We started the match strong and confident. We lost focus in the second set, leading to unforced errors and losing it. We closed the match well. It was a good game to start the tournament”.

Luis Mendizábal, Guatemala’s captain, commented, “We could have won the match. We lacked drive, a bit of attitude, and believing in ourselves. We made many mistakes. We need to come together more as a team to improve”.

Puerto Rico Defeats Nicaragua in their Opening Match

COLIMA, Mexico, June 17, 2028.-  Puerto Rico secured a 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-10) victory over Nicaragua on the first day of the Boys U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico. 

In pool B, Puerto Rico (1-0), the current NORCECA champions in this category, will have a rest day on Tuesday, while Nicaragua (0-1) will face Cuba.

Puerto Rico had a strong debut and had no trouble prevailing over Nicaragua, leading 43 to 12 in attack points and 8 to 1 in service points. Nicaragua performed better in block points (3-1).

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s coach rotated all his players, with Adrián Carrillo leading the scoring with 9 points. Erick Vazquez and Maximiliano Aponte each finished with 7 points.

Luis Valle and Ismael Martínez each scored 4 points for Nicaragua.


Gustavo Alvarez, Puerto Rico’s captain, said, “Serving was one of our strengths in this match. Our passing was good, which allowed us to have a strong offense. Our receiving and blocking helped a lot in our defense, factors that contributed to the victory”.

Bradley Cordon, Nicaragua’s captain, commented, “We were mainly missing two players who just finished the U21 NORCECA yesterday and will join the team tomorrow, one of whom is our setter. The problem was that we had to adapt as setters, which was a new experience, but it ultimately helps us become more complete as players”.

Canada Opens U17 Pan Am Cup With Five-Set Win Over Costa Rica

COLIMA, Mexico, June 17, 2024. – Canada opened the Boys U17 Pan American Cup with a five-set victory (23-25, 27-25, 21-25, 31-29, 15-10) over Costa Rica in Colima, Mexico.

On the second day of pool A, Canada (1-0) will face Guatemala, and Costa Rica (0-1) will play against the host country, Mexico.

Canada took 2 hours and 26 minutes to open pool A of the event, splitting sets with Costa Rica until winning in a thrilling five-set match.

Canada dominated in attacks (70-58), in blocks (16-13), and had a slight edge (5-4) in aces. Canada capitalized on 26 points from Costa Rican errors but also gave away 39 points on  their own errors.

Outside hitters Seth Brunoro and Tyson Dezutter led Canada’s offense with 18 points each. Opposite hitter William Clarmo also contributed with 16 points.

The top scorer of the match was Costa Rica’s outside hitter Ian Sánchez with impressive 31 points. Deyman López added 17 points.

The Canadians managed to extend to a tie-break in a dramatic fourth set that ended 31-29. Canada lost their first set point (24-23) after a powerful attack by Deyman López. Costa Rica missed the chance to close the match (25-24) due to a serve error by Ian Esquivel, and again (26-25) due to a successful attack by William Clarmo; but Costa Rica’s Ian Sánchez tied the score at 27 points. Canada’s next chance to win the fourth set came from another kill by Clarmo, but Sánchez tied it again at 28. An attack by Tyson Dezutter tied it at 29, but then he missed a serve. Two Costa Rican errors forced the match to a fifth set, which Canada won, always staying ahead in the score.

Tyson Dezutter, team captain of Canada said “We passed very well and we received well. Our setters put the ball in a good location. It was a good team effort”.

Gabriel Córdoba, team captain of Costa Rica said  “We played a good game. We weren’t able to take advantage of the opportunities at the end. I feel we can improve our team spirit”.

Under-17 Boys Pan American Cup, A New Challenge

COLIMA, Mexico, June 16, 2024.-  The first Under-17 Boys Pan American Cup presents a new challenge for seven national teams, which will compete at the Colima Multifunctional Auditorium from June 17 to 22.

Coaches spoke about the start of the competition and outlined their objectives for this event, which is part of the qualification system for the U17 NORCECA Continental Championship in 2025 and the  age-group FIVB World Championship in 2026.

Dan Ota, Head Coach of Canada: “The players were playing with their respective club teams, so our team did not have an opportunity to train for this tournament. This is our first time together with these athletes. It’s great for athletes to give them an opportunity to experience international competition at this age. I think that developing an understanding of international games at a younger age is a very helpful experience to help them later in their careers. Our team has a lot of great athletes, but we will have to come together very quickly to develop our team spirit and cohesion, and hopefully we will start to play better as the week goes on. I know it will be a very difficult tournament because many other excellent teams are here, so every game will be difficult for us”.


Walter Jenkins, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “We have been working on this process for almost two years. Since the beginning, there have been some interesting changes, such as the physical growth of our players. In the past year, they have grown, and now the team’s average height is 1.85 meters. At this international level of competition, height is important because our opponents are generally tall. We competed in Poza Rica last year, and we have three new players joining us now. Like everyone here, we come with the hope of reaching the top; we want to work hard to achieve a podium finish”.

Costa Rica

Frank Almendariz Dávalos, Team Manager of Cuba: “This group has been together since September. They attended the qualifier for the U17 World Championship qualifier here in Mexico and secured one of the spots. The team has stayed together in preparation for competing in the World Championship in August in Bulgaria. We are here to compete and to give them more game experience so they can gain more exposure. Of the 12 players who went to Poza Rica last year, we have brought 10. We want the players to enjoy the tournament, to put into practice everything we have worked on with them, and also to achieve a good result that will provide a positive psychological environment for the World Championship.”


Edvin Obed López, Head Coach of Guatemala: “We come well-organized. The parents supported us to conduct training camps in various provinces of Guatemala. The team consists of athletes from the national champion and runner-up teams, along with some reinforcements from other teams. We aim to perform well and represent Guatemala as it should be represented; if we can reach the podium, it will be a great achievement. Six players were part of the U17 team that competed in Poza Rica.”


Denis Omar Rivera, Head Coach of Mexico: “We’ve been here in Colima for two weeks, training in double sessions, and we’re about to complete 15 days in preparation for the event. Our goal is to reach the final again, as we did in the U17 NORCECA  Championship. We have added three new athletes to the team: one from here in Colima, one from Sinaloa, and another from Baja California”.


Benito Escorcia, Assistant Coach of Nicaragua: “In Nicaragua, we are always preparing new talents to be part of our national teams. This competition wasn’t initially in our yearly schedule, but it is a great development opportunity. Like all the teams here, we aim to win every match, though it will be challenging given the high level of play from other teams. We will gain valuable experience, and our players will get a firsthand look at international volleyball”.


Carlos De Sevilla, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “This tournament serves as preparation for this year’s World Championship, for which we qualified last year in Poza Rica. We have a preliminary squad of 18 players who have rotated in and out of different tournaments. The Federation decided well that this team (plus one U19 player) would participate in the NORCECA U19 tournament recently held in Puerto Rico. We have been gaining experience. We are familiar with several teams here; we know their strengths and weaknesses. We haven’t faced Canada before. The challenge is to identify the key players of each team and fight until the end”.

Puerto Rico

Colima Host of the First Boys U17 Pan American Cup

COLIMA, Mexico, June 14, 2024.- The city of Colima, Mexico will host the first Boys U17 Pan American Cup from June 17-22 at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima.

In this same venue, the fourteenth edition of the Men’s Senior Pan American Cup was held in 2019.

The Boys U17 Pan American Cup is an event that is part of the qualification system for the NORCECA U17 Continental Championship in 2025 and the age-group FIVB World Championship in 2026.

The tournament will have seven national teams competing, divided into two pools.

Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala and host Mexico are in pool A; and pool B consists of Cuba, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico won the first NORCECA U17 Continental Championship last November in Poza Rica, Mexico, qualifying for the 2024 FIVB Boys U17 World Championship along with Mexico who finished second and Cuba in third place.

The preliminary pool-play round begins on Monday, June 17. Teams finishing first place in each pool will advance directly to the semifinals; the second and third-place teams will compete in the quarterfinals.

Schedule Preliminary Round

June 17

16:00    Costa Rica vs. Canada

18:00    Puerto Rico vs. Nicaragua

20:00    Mexico vs. Guatemala

June 18

16:00    Guatemala vs. Canada

18:00    Cuba vs. Nicaragua

20:00    Mexico vs. Costa Rica

June 19

16:00    Costa Rica vs. Guatemala

18:00    Puerto Rico vs. Cuba

20:00    Mexico vs. Canada