U20 NORCECA Women’s Championship: USA, Dominican Republic win Pools

  0 Derek Johnson | June 21st, 2018 | International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, U.S. Women's Volleyball


  • June 18-23, 2018
  • Aguascalientes, Mexico | Aguascalientes State Sport Gymnasium
  • NORCECA Homepage

The 2018 NORCECA U20 Women’s Continental Championship is taking place in Mexico with eight teams competing for gold and a spot in the 2019 age-relate FIVB World Championship. Team USA has won the event more than anyone else at six times, although the defending champion is actually the Dominican Republic, who won gold over the Americans 3-1. It was their second gold in their last three times in the event, which ended four consecutive titles from the red, white and blue.

The format, schedule, standings, results and more can all be seen below.


  • What’s on the line?
    • The winning team of the tournament will clinch a bid to the 2019 FIVB World Championship for the age group
  • The eight teams are split into two pools of four nations
    • The winners of each pool advance directly to the semifinals
    • Teams in second and third will meet in cross-pool matches in the quarterfinals (so Pool A #2 vs. Pool B #3 and Pool B #2 vs. Pool A #3)
    • Fourth place teams will still advance, but only to the Final Classification 5-8, where they play the losers of the quarterfinal matches and can finish a max of 5th place
  • Medal matches take place on June 23


Pool A:

  • World Rankings: #11 Cuba, #13 Puerto Rico, #15 USA, #66 Guatemala


  • Cuba def. Guatemala 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-7)
  • USA improves to 3-0; Guatemala falls to 0-3

After working through higher ranked Puerto Rico and a five-set thriller with Cuba, the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team found things much easier against Guatemala. In a match that got progressively wider in terms of margin, USA saw a 14-2 edge in blocks, 6-0 in aces and almost tripled the amount of kills. Caitlin Baird (12 points) led the team in scoring for the first time in the event while no Guatemalan’s logged more than four points. Destiny Cox and Adeola Owokoniran also pitched in nine points each. Team USA will now move on to the semifinals.

USA head coach Keegan Cook“I am satisfied with everyone’s performance; the result in the third set was especially good. All the different combinations and variety of players on the team gives us a chance to work on different possibilities if necessary for what’s coming ahead. Our overall performance has been awesome and our recovery after yesterday’s demanding match was really good.”

Guatemalan captain Carmen Elisa Gomez: “The preliminary round was a real challenge and we never gave up. We have a lot to learn from United States. We are ready to practice more and set for the next phase; we need to improve our serves and reception.”


  • Cuba def. Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-12)
  • Cuba improves to 2-1; Puerto Rico falls to 1-2

To round out Pool A, Cuba edged out Puerto Rico to finish in second of the group. That means they will take on the third-place team from Pool B (Costa Rica) in the quarterfinals while Puerto Rico is pushed to having to take on the runner-up from the other pool (Mexico). The Puerto Ricans held the advantage in aces (10-4) and had two less team errors. Those extra errors came at a good price for Cuba though, who was the riskier side and brought more presence at the net in attacking (47-27 Cuba in kills) and blocking (13-9 Cuba in blocks). Ariana Pagan (10 points) led the way for a Puerto Rican side that had more scorers, but they couldn’t stop Ailama Cese Montalvo (19 points) and Yamisleydis Viltres Pacheco (15 points) for Cuba, contributing to their demise.

Cuba head coach Regla Torres: “It was a bad performance, we came out short, we were over confident. I thing they thought – United States is tougher so if we faced them head to head, this would be a walk in the park- they are wrong, there is no small opponent. They need to learn that we have the obligation to face everyone with the same game level. We will continue playing the same; we need to change in form, in character, in attitude, in motivation. They must be motivated to perform.”

Puerto Rico captain Paulina Pérez: “We had an excellent energy and attitude, we played well against Cuba, and we worked hard to win that third set. My team was confident, our serves were effective and we always scored when our passing was on the spot. I am very satisfied, despite the variations in our line-up.”

Pool B:

  • World Rankings: #1 Dominican Republic, #18 Mexico, #27 Costa Rica, #66 Honduras


  • Costa Rica def. Honduras 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-22)
  • Costa Rica improves to 1-2; Honduras falls to 0-3

In a match where the loser would be capped to the fifth-eighth place losers bracket and the winner would finish third in the pool, Costa Rica earned a sweep of Honduras. That will send Costa Rica to the quarterfinals to take on the second place team in Pool A. They’ll hope for strong contributions in attack and serve again, but need to sure up a block that caused them an eight point deficit (4-12). Leading the way for Costa Rica was Edya Espinoza Rojas (17 points), who was one of two players on her side with double-figure points.

Costa Rica head coach Andrés López: “This was our first goal, advance into the next round winning only one game from the three in pool-play, so we reached our first objective, now we need to set new goals in the next round, it will be harder because our opponents are stronger and more demanding, but it is all a learning process. We are happy to have beaten our zonal opponent, it’s always good. We balance our offense between sever players; Honduras doesn’t, so our strategy was to control Nathaly Pérez. My team’s energy was low; they are tired from yesterday’s late match. Today we will study our next opponent to determine our plan.”

Honduras head coach Osiel Vásquez: “We were mentally prepared to beat Costa Rica, my girls new what to do and they didn’t execute. They did not follow our game plan, they do not respond. Our serves should have been stronger, my girls were supposed to attack Costa Rica’s short players, we didn’t do it.”


  • Dominican Republic def. Mexico 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20)
  • Dominican Republic improves to 3-0; Mexico falls to 2-1

The defending champs had their most stern challenge to this point, as the host-nation played them very tight. While Dominican wins Pool B and get a bye to the semifinals, Mexico finishes second and seemingly validates how much of a threat they can be. In a match where the total points were 95-91, neither team had much of an advantage in one category or another, but there was a brilliant individual match between Uxue Amaya Guereca Parra (29 points) for Mexico and Natalia Martinez (23 points) for the D.R. The Dominican would get more from the supporting cast though, leading to the victory.

Dominican Republic head coach Wagner Pacheco“It was a difficult match, it wasn’t easy facing Mexico. Uxue is an outstanding player, her strength is impressive, and she was difficult to stop. We had a slow beginning; it was hard to get into rhythm because of the rain delay which also affected the other team. Now we need to rest and practice tomorrow; we will probably face Cuba in semifinals, if so, it will be a great match.”

Mexico captain Uxue Guereca: “We feel good, we really put up a fight against Dominican Republic, and we are satisfied buy a little disappointed for our loss. We were hoping to win. For tomorrow’s match against Puerto Rico we feel optimistic and hope for the fans support. Mexico needs to be more consistent and we are motivated to reach the semifinals.”


Matches Results Details Points Sets
T Won Lost 3-0 3-1 3-2 2-3 1-3 0-3 Won Lost Ratio Won Lost Ratio
1 USA UNITED STATES 13 3 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 257 170 1.511 9 2 4.5
2 CUB CUBA 11 3 2 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 269 234 1.149 8 4 2
3 PUR PUERTO RICO 5 3 1 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 221 239 0.924 4 7 0.571
4 GUA GUATEMALA 1 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 145 249 0.582 1 9 0.111
1 DOM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 14 3 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 245 181 1.353 9 1 9
2 MEX MEXICO 11 3 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 241 170 1.417 7 3 2.333
3 CRC COSTA RICA 5 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 163 210 0.776 3 6 0.5
4 HON HONDURAS 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 137 225 0.608 0 9 0

Full Schedule:

No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
2 18-June 16:00   GUATEMALA vs CUBA  LIVE 0-3 20-25 14-25 12-25 00-00 00-00 46-75 1:16 P-2 P-3
3 18-June 18:00 PUERTO RICO vs UNITED STATES  LIVE 0-3 13-25 9-25 19-25 41-75 1:06 P-2 P-3
6 19-June 16:00   GUATEMALA vs PUERTO RICO  LIVE 1-3 16-25 9-25 26-24 17-25 68-99 2:41 P-2 P-3
7 19-June 18:00   CUBA vs UNITED STATES  LIVE 2-3 25-20 18-25 19-25 11-15 98-107 2:22 P-2 P-3
9 20-June 14:00 UNITED STATES vs GUATEMALA  LIVE 3-0 25-13 25-11 25-7 75-31 1:00 P-2 P-3
11 20-June 18:00 PUERTO RICO vs CUBA  LIVE 1-3 20-25 24-26 25-20 12-25 81-96 2:26 P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
1 18-June 14:00 COSTA RICA vs DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  LIVE 0-3 13-25 17-25 18-25 48-75 1:05 P-2 P-3
4 18-June 20:00 MEXICO vs HONDURAS  LIVE 3-0 25-7 25-19 25-9 75-35 1:05 P-2 P-3
5 19-June 14:00 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC vs HONDURAS  LIVE 3-0 25-16 25-12 25-14 75-42 1:17 P-2 P-3
8 19-June 20:00 MEXICO vs COSTA RICA  LIVE 3-0 25-19 25-9 25-12 75-40 1:10 P-2 P-3
10 20-June 16:00 HONDURAS vs COSTA RICA  LIVE 0-3 22-25 16-25 22-25 60-75 1:19 P-2 P-3
12 20-June 20:00 MEXICO vs DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  LIVE 1-3 24-26 25-19 22-25 20-25 91-95 1:49 P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
13 21-June 18:00 CUBA vs COSTA RICA  LIVE P-2 P-3
14 21-June 20:00 MEXICO vs PUERTO RICO  LIVE P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
15 22-June 14:00 GUATEMALA vs LOSER OF M13* (OR M14)  LIVE P-2 P-3
16 22-June 16:00 HONDURAS vs LOSER OF M14* (OR M13)  LIVE P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
17 22-June 18:00 UNITED STATES vs WINNER OF M13* (OR M14)  LIVE P-2 P-3
18 22-June 20:00 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC vs WINNER OF M14* (OR M13)  LIVE P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
19 23-June 14:00 LOSER OF M15 vs LOSER OF M16  LIVE P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
20 23-June 16:00 WINNER OF M15 vs WINNER OF M16  LIVE P-2 P-3
No. Date Time Teams SCORES Set 1 2 3 4 5 Points Time FORMS
21 23-June 18:00 LOSER OF M17 vs LOSER OF M18  LIVE P-2 P-3
22 23-June 20:00 WINNER OF M17 vs WINNER OF M18  LIVE P-2 P-3

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