ICA, Peru, September 13, 2014. – Cuba claimed the Bronze Medal prevailing over hosts Peru 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 19-25, 25-17) with impressive 31 points from young Melissa Vargas in the conclusion of the II Women’s U-23 Pan-American Cup at Jose Oliva Razzeto Coliseum.
Young Melissa Vargas scored a tournament-high of 31 points, including 24 kills, 3 blocks and 4 aces to stop the home team’s efforts; Peru was left out of options while Cuba dominated with stronger kills to finish in third place. Cuba was challenged by Peru on several occasions; they even lost the fourth period with considerable advantage.
Cuba showed superiority with a 50-38 margin in attacks and in the blocking category with 12-7; their serves weren’t that significant over Peru (7-6) nor did the unforced errors by each team, Cuba have 28 and Peru 25.
Joining opposite player Vargas, were outside hitters Regla Garcia and Sulian Matienzo with 10 tallies apiece. Captain Angela Leyva led Peru with 16 points, followed by Katherine Regalado with 12 points.
Juan Carlos Gala, Cuban coach indicated “I am very happy with my team because after yesterday’s loss they recovered well and today they fought strongly for third place. We lost concentration in the third set because the crowd pressured a lot, but in the fourth set with a player like Melissa Vargas we managed to take control again and she finished a top scorer. Now we’ll be traveling with a group of players to the world championship in Italy and we hope better results”.
“It was a good match, the girls of Peru have good attacking skills and they are a good opponent but we recovered from losing the third set and in the fourth we reached our goal to finished third” expressed Cuban captain Sulian Matienzo.
Natalia Malaga, Olympic medalist and Peruvian coach said “Cuba improved their reception and they have a more solid blocking than ours, their starting line-up is very similar while in ours we only have three, now we have to continue improving the rest of our players for the South American championship”.
Captain Angela Leyva of Peru said her team had a late recovery “we played until the last moment, our energy was always high and we never stopped fighting, we will continue to work because there’s much to do and we should practice more for each match”.