When the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championships finished in Slovenia this year, Cuban nationals Heidy Casanova and Lisset Herrera caught the attention of the volleyball world by refusing to return to Cuba with the national team staff and officially defecting.
Now, three months later, Casanova again made international headlines, as she debuted for first division French Club Le Cannet against St-Cloud Paris in their French Cup Quarterfinal match this week. She scored 12 points in the match-up. The debut was a surprise, as Le Cannet did not announce the signing of the Cuban youngster.
Casanova debuted for the senior Cuban national team at only 16 years of age at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Italy. In 2017, she paced the Cubans at the Pan America Cup in June, the FIVB U20 World Championships in July, and the before-mentioned FIVB U23 World Championships in September. Ironically, earlier in the year she was quoted in a FIVB interview as stating her wish to represent Cuba internationally for a long time.
Le Cannet currently sits on 4th place the French League standings with a 6-5 record.
Also on VolleyMob
Defections are nothing new to Cuban teams across sports. Just recently, VolleyMob asked what would a male Cuban All-Defected team look like against international competition.