Cuba returned to the top of continental volleyball after beating the United States in three sets at the IX Men’s Pan American Cup finals. Scores were 25-16, 25-23 and 25-23.
Captain Rolando Cepeda finished with 20 points. On the American side, Taylor Averill and Taylor Crabb finished with 9 apiece. Cuba also converted 9 key points in blocking game against 7 by USA. Captain Zachary La Cavera scored 8 points as well as Scott Kevorken.
“We are so glad for this result. We really worked hard on getting this result. Fos us it was a product of team work and a big effort in all aspects. We return with the gold medal and prepare hard for the next thing,” stated Rolando Cepeda, captain of Cuba, who was recognized as part of the All Star team.
“We have one goal accomplished by winning the gold medal, now we have to go on to the world championship in Poland, and also to be ready for the World League as we expect to get in to the group above”, Cuban coach Rodolfo Sanchez said, after winning his second medal in an international competition in less than three months. Previously, his team had won the World League Group III title.
“For sure we are so proud of this team. This guys are inexperienced versus profesional teams a little bit specially in high ball. But overall We are proud of the guys. We have never done this as a team at this level and I think we are pleasantly surprised we well they competed,” Charles Sullivan, coach of USA expressed after the match.
“I don’t have too much international experience, I’ve just been playing college volleyball. I didn’t really know what to expect and there were some really good athletes like the players from Cuba, and it was a great competition,” Zachary La Cavera declared about USA performance.
Americans got back into finals at Men’s Pan Am Cup, after being eliminated of medal competition in 2013.