Canada Women Sweep Cuba for Gold at NORCECA Group B Qualifier

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 01st, 2017 | Canadian Volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball


  • Sept. 28-30, 2017
  • Langley Events Centre; Langley, British Columbia, Canada
  • Schedule/Results

Canada earned the top qualifying spot at the NORCECA Group B tournament on Saturday, besting Cuba 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-23) for the gold medal, although both teams punched their tickets to Japan for the 2018 World Championships with top two finishes.

Nicaragua earned its first win of the the tournament, sweeping St. Lucia 25-12, 25-11, 25-13, to claim third place.


Canada 3, Cuba 0

Canada’s sweep of Cuba in the final match of the qualifier, not only gave the host side the gold medal, but also avenged a Pan Am Cup loss.

“We are very happy,” Canadian coach Marcello Abbondanza said. “We played very good, especially in the first two sets. We showed what progress we’ve made this summer.  I’m happy for my team – they gave it 100-percent of what they had, and winning 3-0 is never easy, so bravo!”

Tournament MVP Alexa Gray paced the Canadians with 19 points, while Marie-Alex Belanger added 17. Gray recorded a match-high 14 kills, three blocks and two aces, while Belanger chipped in 13 kills, three blocks and an ace. Kyla Richey also notched a double-digit point tally, with seven kills and a match-high four blocks.

Sulian Matienzo led the way for Cuba with 12 points, all on kills. Daymara Lescay Cajigal added six points, with five kills and the team’s lone ace.

“The last time we faced Cuba (at the Pan Am Cup in Peru) we lost to them, so  we’ve had our sights set on this match for the last month and a half,” Canadian captain Lucy Charuk said. “We knew it came down to tonight.  We learned so much in the last five months, it’s awesome.  … We love playing at home, it’s just the best feeling!”

On the Cuban side, there was a level of disappointment in the loss, but happiness for progress and qualification.

“This was a very tough match and our players did their best,” Cuban coach Wilfredo Robinson Pupo said. “At the start of the tournament, we tried to play some of our younger players to get them used to this level of play, because we’ve recently had a lot of turnover with the addition of six new players….. The last was tough, but we didn’t have enough to respond to the completion. We can play better, but I’m happy that the team finished with a strong effort.”

“Canada played very well all game today. They were very strong on the block, which made things very difficult on us today.”


Nicaragua 3, St. Lucia 0 

Heidy Elizabeth Trana Lugo and Amalia Valeska Hernandez Garcia turned in double-digit scoring efforts to lift Nicaragua to a sweep of St. Lucia on Saturday.

Lugo notched 11 points, with seven kills, two aces and two blocks, while Garcia registered eight kills and two aces.

Nicaragua bested St. Lucia in kills (30-13) and aces (7-4). Both teams managed four blocks.

Kerin Neptune led the way for St. Lucia with seven point, tallying six kills and an ace. Yosherbel Emmanuel was next on the team with five points, notching three kills and two aces.

Leave a Reply


About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!