Puerto Rico against Canada for a Olympic qualifier spot


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, October 9, 2019.- Puerto Rico’s victory over Cuba 3-0 (25-15, 25-9, 25-18) at the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, sets the stage to face Canada for a spot to January’s NORCECA Olympic qualifier.


The match between Puerto Rico (2-0) and Canada (2-0) will grant one of the three spots available for the final four NORCECA Olympic qualifier and a direct ticket into the tournament semifinals as pool A winner.


Cuba will face Costa Rica to determine which team moves into quarterfinals. Cuba is not taking part in the Olympic cycle and is not eligible to qualify to the Olympic qualifier.


Host Puerto Rico used all 14 players to improve 2-0 and dominating Cuba mostly on serves (12-0). Puerto Rico also led in attacks (37-23), in blocks (7-4) and committed fewer errors (15-19).


Outside hitter Stephanie Enright scored 6 aces on her match-high of 16 points and 10 kills. Middle blockers Diana Reyes and Neira Ortiz added 8 and 7 points accordingly, contributing in Puerto Rico’s victory. Outside hitter Claudia Tarin led Cuba with 8 points all on kills.


Stephanie Enright, top scorer of Puerto Rico: “We set our rhythm; we played at our level always against a young Cuba. We want to beat Canada, we lost to them this summer and we want to win the ticket to the Olympic qualifier”.


José Mieles, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We rotated all our players, including Fefa (Stephanie Enright) that played two sets and a half. The players are ready for tomorrow, the most important match in pool-play. Our power serves (Paulina, Stephanie y Neira) were aiming to ace and the serves from the floor were directed and strategic, all with the goal to attack our opponent. After a solid win like this one, the team has a high attitude”.


Gretell Moreno, setter of Cuba: “Puerto Rico was dynamic, their serves were well directed and we couldn’t respond; they did what they wanted. On the contrary from us, we couldn’t stabilize our serves, we had no effect in their reception and our blocking was off, they had no difficulty to receive. As always, tomorrow we will play with all we have”.


Tomás Fernández Arteaga, Head Coach of Cuba: “Puerto Rico took initiative easily, mostly in their offense skills. Against players so experienced in volleyball and so passionate like Puerto Rico, you can’t allow spaces; we gave away serves, we didn’t take risks because we didn’t want to commit unforced errors and they responded easily. We practice one way and we don’t execute, there’s no discipline, we must educate more”.