Puerto Rico and Cuba dominate semifinals in Varadero


VARADERO, Cuba, August 27, 2011.-  Puerto Rico and Cuba are the only two countries represented in the semifinals but both will see their pairs facing each other in the battle to advance to the women’s gold medal match, in the fifth stop of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit which conclude on Sunday at Melia Las Americas Hotel of Varadero, 140 kilometers to the east of Havana.


Puerto Ricans Yarleen Santiago-Darian Acevedo, the champions of the previous season, played the best match of the tournament so far by overcoming a 10-13 deficit to defeat the Cuba’s number 1 team of Nirian Sinal-Ion Canet (21-16, 19-21, 15-13) and thus winning pool C with a perfect record they maintained with a 21-18, 21-6 victory over Mexico in their next match.


On Sunday, they will have to face compatriots Yamileska Yantín-Tatiana Encarnación, owners of pool B with 3-0 mark in this leg after a victory over Nicaragua in the quarterfinals.


Simultaneously in other court will clash the Cuban pair of Nirian-Ion, with three victories and one loss, with Onayamí and Kirenia Ballard, winners of pool A by defeating Nicaragua and Jamaica in the next stage.


These two crucial matches will start in the morning at 11:00. The losers will go for bronze and the winners will vie for the title which means that the two top teams of Puerto Rico and Cuba, the most attractive teams of this stop televised live to more than 50 countries by Cubavision, will likely see each other again.


Saturday’s results  

Pool A:   Cuba 2 d. Nicaragua (21-14, 21-9) and México d Trinidad y Tobago (21-14, 21-12).

Final positions: Cuba 2 (Onayamí Sinal-Kirenia Ballard), 3-0; México (Vanessa Virgen-Marta Revueltas)  2-1, Nicaragua (Elia Torrez-Swan Mendoza) 1-2 and Trinidad & Tobago (Ayana Dyette-Elki Phillip) 0-3.


Pool B: Guatemala d. Costa Rica (21-17, 21-17) and Puerto Rico 2 d. Jamaica (21-12, 21-12).

Final positions: Puerto Rico 2 (Yamileska Yantín-Tatiana Encarnación) 3-0, Guatemala (María Orellana-Rut Gómez) 2-1, Jamaica (Cherine Richards-Cheryl Daley) 1-2 and Costa Rica (Katherine Quesada-María Moya)  0-3.


Pool C: Puerto Rico 1 d. Cuba 1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-13) and El Salvador d. Aruba (21-13, 21-9).

Final positions:  Puerto Rico 1 (Yarleen Santiago-Darian Acevedo) 3-0,  Cuba 1 (Nirian Sinal-Ion Canet) 2-1, El Salvador (Diana Romero-Marcela Ávalos) 1-2 and Aruba (Jackie Toussaint-Juleisy Castillo) 0-3.


Quarterfinals: (The top two teams of each pool and the two best third places)

Puerto Rico 2 d. Nicaragua (21-10, 21-13), Cuba 2 d. Jamaica (21-14, 21-12), Cuba 1 d. Guatemala (21-14, 21-11) and Puerto Rico 1 d. México (21-18, 21-6).


For positions 9-13: Trinidad y Tobago d El Salvador (21-18, 21-19) and Curazao d. Costa Rica (21-13, 21-18).


Sunday’s semifinals:

(11:00 a.m. Simultaneously):

Cuba 1 v Cuba 2

Puerto Rico 1 v Puerto Rico 2



For bronze 2:00 p.m. (losers of semifinals)

For gold 4:00 p.m. (winners of semifinals)