Favorites prevail in Varadero on the first day of the NORCECA Tour

VARADERO, Cuba, May 3, 2024 - The top favorites to contend for the podium in the second phase of the 2024 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour got off to a strong start in the beginning of the group elimination stage, taking place on the courts at the Barceló Arenas Blancas hotel.

Hailey Harward and Kylie Kuyava-DeBerg (USA-2), champions in the previous stop in Santo Domingo a month ago, defeated their strongest opponents in Group B, Cuban pair Kailin Garrido-Yenifer Rivera, 2-0 (21-18, 21-12), and the Canadian pair Darby Dunn-Myriam Robitaille in two identical sets of 21-13.

They only must face the Costa Rican pair Ximena Núñez-Kianny Araya, as the team from Trinidad and Tobago withdrew from participating in the event at this venue, which has hosted the important event since 2011.

Among the hosts, it’s worth noting the significant victory they secured against the Canadians, and they still have to clash with the Central Americans, as they already secured a victory against the no show Trinidadians.

Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans María González and Allanis Navas, titleholders of the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador 2023, seem determined to avenge their loss to Hailey and Kylie in the Güibia beach final.

In Group C, the spirited Puerto Rican duo defeated the young debutants Selena Spek and Mileidy Paret (CUB-3) with easy scores of 21-9 and 21-4, and also defeated the American pair Savannah Simo-Abby Van Winkle in consecutive sets (21-18, 21-10). The Americans were bronze medalists in the opening of the 2024 NORCECA Tour, scored victories against the Cubans and the Nicaraguans.

Meanwhile, the main local pair, Amanda Armenteros and Maykelín Drik (fourth in Güibia), after receiving a bye in Group A, defeated Charles/Austin (ISV-1) 2-0 (21-9, 21-12) and will try to maintain their undefeated record against El Salvador’s Keiry Guzmán and Dana Funes, and Guatemala’s Naomi Monney and Danna Aguilar this Saturday.

Friday's results:

Group A: Aguilar/Monney (GUA) def. Charles/Austin (ISV-1) 2-1 (21-9, 19-21, 15-7); Drik/Amanda (CUB-1) def. Charles/Austin (ISV-1) 2-0 (21-9, 21-12); Aguilar/Monney (GUA) def. Funes/Guzmán (ESA) 2-0 (22-20, 21-18).

Group B: Harward/DeBerg (USA-2) def. Kailin/Rivera (CUB-2) 2-0 (21-18, 21-12); Dunn/Robitaille (CAN-1) def. Núñez/Quesada (CRC) 2-0 (21-16, 21-16); Harward/DeBerg (USA-2) def. Dunn/Robitaille (CAN-1) 2-0 (21-13, 21-13); Kailin/Rivera (CUB-2) def. Choon/Selvon (TTO) forfeit; Núñez/Quesada (CRC) def. Choon/Selvon (TTO) forfeit; Kailin/Rivera (CUB-2) def. Dunn/Robitaille (CAN-1) 2-1 (13-21, 26-24, 15-12).

Group C: Navas/González (PUR) def. Spek/Paret (CUB-3) 2-0 (21-9, 21-4); Savvy/Van Winkle (USA-1) def. López/Lolette (NCA) 2-0 (21-4, 21-10); Navas/González (PUR) def. Savvy/Van Winkle (USA-1) 2-0 (21-18, 21-10); Spek/Paret (CUB-3) def. Tammenga/Soedamah (SUR) 2-0 (21-11, 21-15); López/Lolette (NCA) def. Tammenga/Soedamah (SUR) 2-0 (25-23, 21-17); Savvy/Van Winkle (USA-1) def. Spek/Paret (CUB-3) 2-0 (21-12, 21-10).

Group D: Payano/Paniagua (DOM) def. Dyer/Gumbs (SKN) 2-0 (21-7, 21-10); Bélanger/Monkhouse (CAN-2) def. Dyer/Gumbs (SKN) 2-0 (21-16, 21-12); Payano/Paniagua (DOM) def. Bennett/Buckner (ISV-2) 2-0 (24-22, 21-17).