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Calypso vballers 10th at Pan Am Cup
T&T senior women’s volleyballers had to settle for tenth spot for the second straight year at the tenth Pan American Cup, after losing out to host Mexico in four sets at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez Pavilion, Chihuahua, on Friday night. Despite match-high 18 points each from fit-again captain, Krystle Esdelle and vice-captain, T&T went under 18-25, 16-25, 25-14, 19-25 in one hour and 26 minutes in their ninth to tenth spot playoff encounter.
The France-based Esdelle had missed the seventh to tenth semifinal playoff loss to Canada on Thursday due to illness but returned to action against the Mexicans, with 14 kills, bettered only by Billingy’s 15. Esdelle also had four blocks while Poland-based 17-year-old Channon Thompson had another impressive outing with 11 points, and Sinead Jack, also based in Poland, three blocks as T&T ended with a 1-5 record. For Mexico, Martha Revuelta topscored with 15 points, Karla Sainz got 12, and Dulce Carranza added ten.
Speaking after the loss, Esdelle said her team needed to be more focus to avoid making errors. “We have to work on our concentration, we get too nervous and that makes it difficult to not make errors, we stood up in the third but it wasn’t enough,” T&T coach, Cuban-born, Francisco “Panchee” Cruz was very gracious in defeat and said Mexico deserved the victory. Cruz said, “Mexico played good today and they deserved to win, they were more consistent and focused; our strategic plan didn’t work out.”
In yesterday’s main draw semifinal, top ranked world team Brazil and reigning champions, Dominican Republic both won to reach the final which was contested last night. Dominican Republic two-time winners’ of the tournament came-from-behind to beat world second ranked USA, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-2. Prisilla Rivera registered 25 points while Bethania De la Cruz added 17, Milagros Cabral 13 and Annerys Vargas 11. For the Americans Megan Hodge led with 19 points while Foluke Akinradewo, Jordan Larson and Nicole Fawcett got with 15, 13 and 11 respectively.
The Brazilians advanced to the title’s match defeating Cuba 25-19, 25-14, 26-28, 25-15 in the first semifinal with well placed serves and consistent blocking. Thaisa Menezes led Brazil with 17 points followed by Fernanda Rodrigues, Sheila Castro and Fabiana Claudino with 14, 13 and ten respectively. Cuba’s Kenia Carcaces and Wilma Salas charted 15 and 14 and Rosanna Giel and Yoana Palacio notched 11 and ten respectively. Also on Friday, Puerto and Argentina won to set up a meeting for fifth spot.
The Puerto Ricans prevailed over Canada 25-19, 25-14, 24-26, 25-16 and qualified for next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix. Sarai Alvarez, Aury Cruz, Stephanie Enright and Amanda Vasquez, took Puerto Rico to the win, with 20, 19, 11 and 10 respectively. As for Canada, its top scorer was Sarah Pavan with 21 points. Argentina also sealed its ticket to the World Grand Prix defeating Peru in a thriller, 19-25, 25-15, 24-26, 15-12. Georgina Pinedo led Argentina to the victory with 20 points, followed by Lucia Fresco who scored 18. For Peru, Angelica Aquino scored 19 points, Yulissa Zamudio contributed 17 and Mirtha Uribe 15. The tournament ended last night.
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