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Volleyball - 14. July 2014.

Cuba and United States qualify to U20 World Championship

While advancing to the final match both teams qualified to the 2015 FIVB World Championship of the age group category. 
In the past eight editions of the continental event, USA has won the NORCECA title in five occasions and Cuba only once.
Sunday’s schedule features Costa Rica against Guatemala for fifth place, followed by the bronze medal match between Mexico and Dominican Republic.

Cuba 3, Mexico 1
The 3-1 (25-23, 14-25, 25-22, 25-20) victory over Mexico earned Cuba a ticket to next year’s age-group FIVB World Championship. Cuba’s brilliant performance and the euphoric celebration after the win brought tears of joy from players and the staff. Cubans based their victory on another solid performance by 14 years-old Melissa Vargas, who once again showed her exceptional skills.  Mexico out-blocked Cuba 14-8, had a 12-10 ace advantage and made less unforced errors (20-35) but couldn’t overcome Cuba’s impressive superiority of 51-29 in spikes. Vargas led Cuban’s offensive with 27 points, including 5 aces. Also with double figures in the winning cause, outside hitter Diaris Perez had 14 points while setter Gretell Moreno finished with 11 points. In the losing effort, middle blocker Patricia Valle scored 14 points followed by outside hitter Fernanda Guitron with 13 points.

United States 3, Dominican Republic 0
USA beat defending champions Dominican Republic in straight sets 25-16, 25-20, 25-18 to reach the final match and get the last berth available to the 2015 FIVB World Championship. United States performed to their highest level in the tournament as they completed the preliminary round with comfortable fashion. USA prevailed in the end with a wide 44-28 margin in spikes and 10-5 difference in blocks. In the aces category the Dominicans led 3-2. Middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan was USA’s top scorer with 14 points, while outside hitter Cortney Schwan contributed 13 points and opposite Hayley Hodson chipped in with 10 points. Dominican outside hitter Brayelin Martinez scored 15 points. 

Nicaragua 3, Martinique 0
Nicaragua defeated Martinique 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23) for seventh place. Nicaragua came out on top Martinique for their second victory, finishing the tournament with a 2-2 win-loss record and seventh place. The victory wasn’t easy for the Central American team as Martinique put up a fight.  Nicaragua managed to commit fewer errors (28-40) than Martinique and held the advantage in spikes (30-21). Both teams had their captains as offensive leaders with Nicaragua’s Florelisa Smith with 12 points and Martinique’s Maelle Paulin with 11 points.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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