Cuba beat Puerto Rico at Women’s Final Four opening

NOGALES, Sonora, June 17, 2022.- Cuba beat Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-20) in the first match of the NORCECA Women’s Final Four Qualification Tournament on Friday at Nogales, Sonora.

Cuba held advantages in attacks (43-32), blocks (6-4) and serves (4-2). Cuba scored 22 points on Puerto Rico’s errors and handed out 17.

Middle blocker Dayana Martinez and outside hitter Claudia Tarin charted 11 points each in Cuba’s first victory; Martinez on 7 attacks, 3 blocks and one ace, while Tarin scored on 10 kills and one ace. Team captain Thainalien Castillo Leyva added 10 points.

Outside hitter and team captain Sofia Victoria led Puerto Rico with 10 points all on kills, joined by outside hitter Elaine Vazquez with 9 points.

On day two of competition, Cuba faces host Mexico and Puerto Rico goes up against Costa Rica.

Suarez (4 CUB) attacks

Thainalien Castillo Leyva, Captain of Cuba: “We were strong, united, we battled as a team, and we hope to keep it up. We can’t loosen against any of our opponents, and we have practiced a lot to do so, we have physical condition and energy”.

Sofía Victoria, Captain of Puerto Rico: “Despite falling, we felt good, it’s our first time playing together. We are adjusting, we are the future of Puerto Rico. We hope to do better the next couple of days”.

Joel Olazabal, Head Coach of Cuba: “We believe our teams’ performance was good, it’s only the first match and despite knowing this isn’t Puerto Rico’s A team. Every player will compete. Tomorrow we’ll give a good spectacle against Mexico”.

Fernando Morales, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are aware we’re bringing a team with little experience and the errors were because of our lack of experience. I believe we played well for moments, but not an entire set. We will improve with each match; they have never played together and our rhythm will improve as well”.

Teams are excited for the NORCECA Women’s Final Four to start

NOGALES, Sonora, June 16, 2022.- Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico are excited for the start of the NORCECA Women’s Final Four after the preliminary inquiries for the event that runs from June 17-19 in Nogales, Sonora.

The NORCECA Final Four, is a round-robin qualification tournament where the first place will compete at the FIVB Final Challenger Cup that advances one team to the 2023 International Volleyball Nations League.

Canada won the NORCECA Final Four in 2019 and then went on to win the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup held in Lima to progress to the VNL.

Matches will be streamed on Facebook Live Instituto Municipal del Deporte Nogales and Gobierno de la Ciudad de Nogales

Preliminary Inquiry

Joel Olazabal, Head Coach of Cuba: “We want to evaluate the players we are bringing, some have been playing overseas and others training since February, depending on their performance here they can help us in the Final Six and the Pan American Cup for our NORCECA ranking to qualify for Central American Games. We aren’t aiming to win the berth to the World Final, because many players just finished their leagues and don’t have the training to be here”.

Pablo Acuña, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “We are excited to compete, our focus this year is the Central American Games at the end of the year in Guatemala. We are approaching this competition as three good preparation matches. We have prepared to give our best against Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico; our expectation is to compete with them well and continue our preparation for the end of the year”.

Rafael Petry, Head Coach of Mexico: “I see my girls motivated, well prepared and with their minds in reaching the objective of finishing first place in the event. All teams don’t have time for errors, because it’s a short competition and I consider my team capable of managing the pressure”.

Fernando Morales, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “The team we’re here with is young but talented, mostly players that are playing in universities in the U.S. because our professional league in Puerto Rico is currently running (belated for Covid). We are eager to watch them compete at this level, it’s a short tournament which we’ll take out the best”.

Inspections carried out in Nogales for NORCECA Women’s Final Four

NOGALES, Sonora, June 15, 2022.- Members of the control committee and the organizing committee of the NORCECA Women’s Challenger Final Four tournament, carried out several inspections at Carlos Hernandez Carrera Gym, the competition venue.

The joint meeting between NORCECA control committee, the Mexican Volleyball Federation and local sports authorities was conducted by Director of Competition Alberto Arreola, who followed a thorough checklist to complete all regulation requirements.

The qualifier event will grant one ticket to the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Challenger Cup, which offers the opportunity to qualify the top two teams replacing the two bottom teams to the VNL previous year.

Inspection Day

Wednesdays’ inspections included evaluating the schedule of competition for the first day, as an opening ceremony is set to take place before the match between Mexico and Costa Rica; therefore, the first match between Puerto Rico and Cuba will be moved thirty minutes earlier as scheduled.

Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico and host Mexico will go through the preliminary inquiry on Thursday for the three-day competition that starts on Friday.

Matches will be streamed on Facebook Live Instituto Municipal del Deporte Nogales and Gobierno de la Ciudad de Nogales

Nogales to host Women’s Final Four International League 

NOGALES, Mexico, June 10, 2022 – The International League NORCECA Women’s Final Four, a qualifier to the FIVB Challenger to the Volleyball Nations League will take place here in Nogales, Sonora with the participation of teams from Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico and host Mexico.

The competition calendar runs from June 17 to 19 with the arrival of teams scheduled on June 15 and departing on June 20. Teams will play against each other for one single match with the top ranked team earning the ticket to the FIVB Challenger.

The Volleyball Nations League is the premier tournament of FIVB with the participation of the top 16 teams. The FIVB Challenger offers the opportunity to qualify to the top two teams replacing the two bottom teams of the VNL in the previous year.

The competition schedule is the following:

June 17

18:30 Puerto Rico v Cuba

20:30 Mexico v Costa Rica

June 18

18:30 Puerto Rico v Costa Rica

20:30 Mexico v Cuba

June 19

18:30 Cuba v Costa Rica

20:30 Mexico v Puerto Rico