Venezuela Wins Bronze at the Girls U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, June 1, 2024.- Venezuela defeated the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-17) in the bronze medal match of the inaugural Girls U17  Pan American Cup on Saturday at Guatemala’s City Dome.  

Venezuela claimed the bronze medal with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses, with a total of 14 sets won and 8 lost.

The Dominican Republic, finishing in fourth place, closed with a 3-3 win-loss record and a 9-9 record in sets.

Venezuela dominated in attack points (40-36) and points from serves (5-3). The Dominican Republic had the advantage in blocks (6-4). Venezuela scored 27 points on Dominican errors and committed 18 of their own.

Fiorellys Utrera VEN

Once again, outside hitter Fiorellys Utrera led Venezuela with a match-high of 19 points, on 15 attacks, two blocks, and two service points. Gabriela Noguera and Nohely Placido (who came in as a substitute in the second set) each finished with 8 points.

The first two sets were very close, and it wasn’t until the third set that Venezuela managed to pull away when Fiorellys Utrera went to serve with the score at 12-11, extending the lead to seven points (18-11) and celebrating the bronze medal with a comfortable 25-17 set win.

Venezuela Bronce

Gabriela Noguera, Venezuela’s captain, said that the team learned a lot and is very motivated to keep working. Regarding the match, she expressed, “with emotion and enthusiasm, we managed to get the result, and Fiorellys brought stability to the team in the third set when she served; we had calmer”.

“We studied the Dominican Republic well, we knew where to position ourselves and where to adjust in blocking”, said Willian Ruiz, Venezuela’s coach. He explained that the team had difficulty pulling ahead until the third set due to the players’ age, “it’s natural for them to have many ups and downs, but we trust the work we are doing; Dominican Republic failed at key points, and we succeeded, and the teams were evenly matched in all aspects”. He concluded, “regardless of the result, it’s a tremendous tournament; we faced six different teams and it had been more than 14 years since we competed internationally”.