The Cuba National Team starts the 2020 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NORCECA) Volleyball Olympic Qualifier in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on the right foot: the team coached by Nicolás Vives destroy Puerto Rico in straight sets (25:18, 25:14, 25:19). Marlon Yant was the top scorer for the winning side with 13 points, while Liván Osoria made 4 winning blocks and Miguel Ángel López served 4 aces. Pelegrín Vargas poured in 10 points for Puerto Rico.
Maurice Torres Puerto Rico’s captain: “We just made way too many errors. You can compete as much as you can until you start making errors like we did. That’s what changed the entire match. Too many service errors, spike errors, we needed to make something out of it and we didn’t”.
Ernesto Nicolas Coffigny Vives, Cuba’s Head Coach: “Today’s game was pretty good. We played our game. Puerto Rico is a great team. I think we can play better than we played today. Canada has a great team. We’re going to be playing point by point and we’re going to fight until the end.”
Livan Rodriguez Osoria, Cuba’s Captain: “We’re going to be ready for tomorrow which will define the qualification for Tokyo. We are ready for tomorrow’s game. We can’t wait to play against Canada. They’re a great team and we’ll be ready for them.”
The hosts Canada also started very well, achieving a straight-set victory over Mexico. That result left the scene ready for the face-off between them and Cuba on the 2nd day of the tournament. Given the level of other teams competing in Vancouver, it’s quite clear that the winning team from this match will take the only ticket avaible for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Mexico Head Coach, Miguel Jorge Lopez Azair: “I like the first two sets. We had a lot of consistency and control of the serve in the first set but after that we couldn’t control their rhythm.”
Mexico Captain Pedro Rangel: “We started at a high level but afterwards Canada put on too much pressure. They served really well and made some big blocks.”
Glenn Hoag – Canadian Head Coach: “This was the first game we’ve played together since last summer so we’re a little tentative and a little rusty at the start but we settled down and we started flowing.”
Gord Perrin, Canada’s Captain: “We were able to get our nerves out and play a solid game and prepare for the rest of the tournament. Everybody’s going to be important and we want everybody to be at their best so that they can be available if we need them.”
2020 NORCECA Volleyball Olympic Qualifier – Round 1
Canada – Mexico 3-0 (25:16, 25:14, 25:17)
Cuba – Puerto Rico 3-0 (25:18, 25:14, 25:19)
Source and photos: volleyball.coqt.2020.fivb.com