Cuba joined USA as Norceca's teams in the Olympics
Monterrey, Mexico, December 23, 2007 - Cuba will enter the Olympic Games for the eighth time after scoring one clear victory in straight sets over Canada (25-19, 25-9, 25-16) in the final encounter of the Norceca Women’s Olympic Qualifier.
Winners of the gold medal in Barcelona ’92, Atlanta ’96 and Sidney 2000, the Cubans took the bronze medal in Athens ’04. They also participated in Munich ’72, Montreal ’76 and Moscow ’80.
Veteran Yumilka Ruiz, elected as the Most Valuable Player, had 17 points for Cuba and Kenia Carcaces and Nancy Carrillo each added 11 tallies. Setter Yanelis Santos had 6 of 13 Cuban’s blocks and totalled 9 points.
In the other match on Saturday, Puerto Rico resisted a come-from- behind surge of its rival and beat Dominican Republic in a sensational match for the bronze medal by score of 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 15-25, 22-20.
Puerto Rican Sarai Alvarez was the best scorer of the match with 30 points. Aury Cruz had 22 and Eva Cruz 10. Meanwhile, Dominicans Bethania de la Cruz and Sidarka Nunez had 26 and 20 points respectively, Annerys Vargas scored 14 and Cosiri Rodriguez 10.
“We played almost a perfect game and did not let Canada to play,” said Antonio Perdomo, the Cuban coach. “I am very proud of my team and I hope to represent well Norceca during the Olympics. We improved with each match and capped the competition with this kind of performance in every aspect of the game.”
“We are very proud about this victory against a team we had not beaten since 2005 while playing about 15 times,” said Juan Carlos Nunez, the Puerto Rican coach. “The win is also important because there is the possibility of getting an invitation for the repechage in Japan next year.”
Norceca Women’s Olympic Qualifier
Best scorer: Sarai Alvarez (PUR)
Best Spiker: Yumilka Ruiz (CUB)
Best Blocker: Tasha Holness (CAN)
Best Server: Celida Cordova (MEX)
Best Setter: Larissa Cundy (CAN)
Best Digger: Debora Seilhamer (PUR)
Best Receiver: Cosiri Rodriguez (DOM)
Best Libero: Debora Seilhamer (PUR)
MVP: Yumilka Ruiz (CUB)
Rising Star: Xitlali Herrera (MEX)
The road to Beijing
Olympic Games 2008 Women's Volleyball
1. China (host country)
2. Italy (1. World Cup)
3. Brazil (2. World Cup)
4. USA (3. World Cup)
5. (African Qualification Tournament)
6. (Asian Qualification Tournament) *
7. (European Qualification Tournament)
8. Cuba (Norceca Qualification Tournament)
9. (South American Qualification Tournament)
10. (World Qualification Tournament)
11. (World Qualification Tournament)
12. (World Qualification Tournament)
* The Asian Continental Qualification Tournaments are played combined with the World Olympic Qualification Tournaments in Japan