Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros Gold in Cayman Islands

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, April 28, 2019. - Mexican pair Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros won the Gold Medal Match at the second stop of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour in Cayman Islands defeating 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) over Cubans Sergio González and Luis Reyes.

Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros, multiple title winners in the NORCECA Tour, managed to take control of the actions dismantling Cuba’s strong offense over the net with Virgen’s monster blocking and Lombardo’s strategic defense.

The Mexican pair have been away of any tournament for eight months as Juan Virgen has just recovered from a knee surgery. “It feels good to have a good opening, coming back to the NORCECA action feels like home; we always compete strong here and these two opening tournaments gives us the motivation we need” said Virgen.

Speaking about the gold medal match, Virgen added “we put up pressure over the net, the blocking was good and Lombardo was excellent running after the ball. We were focused, this was our strength “concentration”, this made me block better and Lombardo defend better as well”.

Lombardo Ontiveros said “sometimes things don’t turn out as expected, but today our game plan and our coaches’ strategy worked perfectly. Our performance wasn’t static, we moved around well. Mostly we are glad to be here in NORCECA, Cuba is a tough opponent and today we are the ones enjoying the victory”.

Virgen and Ontiveros reached their second Gold Medal match of the 2019 NORCECA season winning a challenging semifinal to Ruben Mora and Dany López of Nicaragua 2-0 (21-14, 24-22).

Cubans González and Reyes made it into the final match with an overtime semifinal victory 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-12) against the Benjamin Vaught and Spencer Sauter of United States.

The surprise of the tournament was the Nicaraguan pair of Ruben Mora and Dany López who beat USA Benjamin Vaught and Spencer Sauter by a thrilling 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 18-16), winning the bronze medal and their first NORCECA medal ever.

Final Standings: 1. Juan Virgen Juan/Lombardo Ontiveros Lombardo (MEX); 2. Sergio González/Luis Enrique Reyes (CUB); 3. Ruben Mora/Dany López (NCA); 4. Benjamin Vaught/Spencer Sauter (USA); 5. Ivan Reka Ivan/ Simon Fecteau-Boutin (CAN-B); 6. Andy Leonardo/Luis García (GUA); 7. Brian Kwasny/Gabriel Ospina (ISV-B); 8. Victor Castillo/Alex Medina (DOM); 9. Jake MacNeil/William Hoey (CAN-A); 10. Casey Santamaria/Jesse Parhan (CAY-A); 11. Carlos Escobar/David Vargas (ESA); 12. Daneil Theodore/Issac Joel (TTO); 13. Jon Isaacs/Kyle Wilson BAH;  14. Fabian Quintero/Sebastian Valenciano (CRC); 15. Marc Lomeli/Austin Pippen (ISV-A); 16. Markiel Simpson/Christopher Walters (JAM); 17. Richard Campbell/Nathan Dack (CAY-B); 18. St. Clair Hodge/Shawn Seabrookes (SKN).

Men’s results Sunday:

Gold Medal: MEX d CUB 2-0 (21-18, 21-14); Bronze Medal: NCA d USA 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 18-16); Semifinals: MEX d NCA 2-0 (21-14, 24-22); CUB d USA 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-12); 5-6 CAN-B d GUA 2-0 (24-22, 21-14); 7-8 ISV-B d DOM 2-0 (23-21, 21-16); Positions 5-9: CAN-B d DOM 2-0 (21-11, 21-13); GUA d ISV-B (forfeit).