Venezuela storms past Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 28, 2024 – Venezuela stormed past 3-0 (25-17, 25-15 y 25-8) over host Guatemala at the first edition of the Girls  U17 Pan American Cup on Tuesday night at the Multi-sports Dome  in Guatemala City.

This was Venezuela’s first win in Pool B, and with a 1-1 record, they will conclude the pool-play  against Costa Rica (1-1). Guatemala (0-2) will finish against Puerto Rico (2-0).

The pool winner will advance directly to the semifinals; the second and third places will compete in quarterfinals.

Forellys Utrera VEN, Defense

Venezuela held a huge 10 to 2 advantage in service points and a convincing 34 to 22 margin in attack points; they also scored 27 points from Guatemalan errors and conceded 12. The teams tied in blocking at 4-4.

Venezuelan outside hitter Fiorellys Utrera led all scorers with 13 points (8 attacks, 2 blocks, one ace). She was accompanied by team captain Gabriela Noguera with 11 points (9 attacks, one block, one ace).

Natalia Perez GUA, attacks

Opposite hitter Melissa Guerra scored 11 points (10 attacks, 1 ace) as Guatemala’s top scorer.

William Ruiz, coach of Venezuela, said he was pleased that they could compete internationally again after a break in all categories. Ruiz explained that his team made their debut yesterday against the group favorite, and it was not easy, “the team is young, and we are building for the future, and today they showed more confidence compared to yesterday”. Regarding the match against Guatemala, he said, “they challenged us in the first set and the second set was tricky. We appreciate the effort of our Federation for allowing us to be here”.

Guatemala’s coach, Celeste Cifuentes, said that today the team came with more confidence after the first match, “playing at home took a toll on us, but as the match progressed, the girls realized they could give more. We knew today that Venezuela is a taller team with international experience”. She added that the team’s development process continues and that this is their first international experience.