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FeVA - Argentine Volleyball Federation

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Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 9, 2014 – For the first time in their FIVB World Grand Prix history, Argentina secured a third win in the same season, overcoming Canada 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-16) in Lomas de Zamora on Saturday.

Key points:

• Argentina were led by Emilce Sosa’s 20 points, followed by Florencia Busquets with 13. Canada’s Kyla Richey was the most prolific scorer on her side with 16 points.

• Before this weekend, Argentina had never won a World Grand Prix match on home soil.

• Canada beat Argentina 3-2 on August 2 for their first ever win in the World Grand Prix.

• Lucia Fresco (Argentina) was up against SC Potsdam teammates Marie-Pier Murray-Methot and Brittney Page, while Canada’s Dana Cranston plays for the same team (Istres Ouest Provenence) as Julieta Constanza Lazcano of Argentina.

A block by Lucille Charuk allowed Canada to enjoy an early lead in the game at 8-5. After the technical timeout, Shanice Marcelle added an ace but Canada drew back to 10-9. Argentina lost some accuracy in reception and Canada jumped to a 13-10 lead, but local libero Tatiana Rizzo defended superbly and Elina Rodríguez joined in with an ace to put the home team two points up at 15-13. Canadian captain Brittney Page unveiled a block to tie the scores at 17 and the game became very exciting. Fresco pushed Argentina ahead at 22-20 and Canada missed the court again to give the hosts three setpoints. An unforced error from the visiting side sealed the set at 25-22.

After a close start in the second set, Sosa nailed a block and the crowd went crazy as the score turned into a 7-5 lead for the home team. However, Richey helped Canada regain some ground to 8-7. Richey continued scoring and her side moved forward (14-11), but Argentina regrouped to lead 16-15 combining Canadian errors with Fresco’s spikes. The tide shifted again as Canada used Richey and Lisa Barclay for a 20-18 lead, and the North American squad then progressed to 22-20. That two-point gap remained until Marcelle smashed the winner at 25-23.

With Tanya Acosta as a starter and Sosa on fire, Argentina went four points up at 10-6 in the third set. Acosta also served an ace (11-6) and Sosa did the exact same to settle the team at 14-8. Busquets improved her numbers and the difference remained six points at the second technical timeout, with Canada unable to reduce the gap. The “Panteras” kept control, led by Sosa. Yael Castiglione scored the 24th point and Busquets, down the middle, finished the set at 25-21.

Canada quickly advanced to 4-0 in the fourth set, but that was almost it for the visiting side, as Argentina once again were commanded by Sosa, while Josefina Fernández contributed with an ace for an 11-6 margin. Castiglione also scored from the service line as the home squad progressed to a 16-11 lead. The comeback became impossible for Canada as Argentina enjoyed another ace from Sosa to make the score 21-13. Fernández chipped in with two spikes, Fresco attacked as well and Acosta closed the set and the match at 25-16.

In the final day of action, Canada will face Peru, while Argentina will go for a perfect weekend against Cuba.

Press Conference:

Brittany Page, Canada captain: “For us it wasn’t a good game the whole way through. There were little features we had but we couldn’t maintain them. Argentina played a good game, they put us in a lot of trouble and that’s why we fell short today.”

Yamila Nizetich, Argentina captain: “I want to underline that the team was our best feature today. The girls that entered the court did a great job and helped us get through. I’m very happy with the win but especially with the way we played.”

Arnd Ludwig, Canada coach:“I could say almost the same words than yesterday: we didn’t do well enough on passing and serving to beat Argentina today. We started well on the first two sets and they had a good answer on that, with two good substitutions on the receivers, but after that we lost our rhythm and in the final sets I think we weren’t on the court.”

Guillermo Orduna, Argentina coach:“We improved along the game, adjusting some details, mainly in blocking and serving, and always trying to play with our middle-blockers, which we know it might be the key against their blocking system. To play at home, with so many children vibrating with the team, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction. I’ve been working with female volleyball many years and to see this passion is like a dream.”

In the first match of the second day in Lomas de Zamora Microestadio, in an extremely close match, Peru earned a second 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix win after a five-sets battle against Cuba, winning 3-2 (27-25, 28-30, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13).

14-years-old Melissa Vargas from Cuba topped the charts with 25 points, while Peruvian captain Angela Leyva (age 17) led her side with 20 tallies. The match was also a blocking fight, with Cuba completing 20 stuff blocks and Peru scoring 14.

Peru began the game in a convincing fashion, after a couple of blocks from Andrea Urrutia enabled a 4-0 distance. The South American side advanced to 9-7, but Cuba already regained focus and both teams exchanged attacks from then on. However, Cuba found a key block from Yamila Hernandez Santas and a nice ace by Alena Orta to seize control at the second stop (16-15). Regla Gracia led the way to 21-19 and Daymara Lescay added a spike, but Cuba made some errors and the game got levelled at 23. In a nail-biting finish, Peru relied on Karla Ortiz and Carla Rueda to stay in control and Daniela Uribe entered the court to seal the 27-25.

Once again, Peru showed more energy than Cuba in the first moments of the set, this time escaping to 8-5 after a second-touch hit by setter Alexandra Muñoz. Maguilaura Frias helped to enhance the lead (11-7), but Cuba recovered some good shape through Vargas and achieved a tie in 14-14. A long Peruvian ball gave Cuba a narrow advantage at 16-15, and the Caribbean attack worked well towards a 19-18 score. Urrutia blocked again and Muñoz scored an ace with a little help of the net to bounce back (21-19), but Lescay and Vargas teamed up to give birth to another close ending. Vargas chipped in with one block and an ace by Hernandez allowed Cuba to win the set by 30-28.

Muñoz made damage from the service line once more and Peru quickly dominated Cuba in the third chapter, to 8-3. Ortiz contributed with some blocks and the white team looked strong en-route to a 13-9 score, but Cuba improved slowly but steadily. Vargas blocked and Gracia served an ace to leave their side just one point behind (16-15), but Cuba had to wait to be equal. It was at 20-20 after another Vargas’ spike and a while later Lescay performed a stunning block for another tie, at 23-23, but Cuba gave away the set with two unforced errors. Peru celebrated by 25-23.

Both teams went back on court decided to grab the fourth set, and the game became very interesting at the first moments of it. Peru advanced to 8-7 with captain Leyva, but things remained leveled after the break. Vargas was Cuba’s main weapon, while Peru answered through Rueda and Fiías, but it was Leyva who smartly spiked off the Cuban block for a 16-15. Muñoz added a couple of points to her numbers and Urrutia unfolded her 7th blocking point of the game to stretch the lead to 21-16. However, Cuba didn’t give up and climbed back to 23-22, with some strong serves from Gracia and an unstoppable Vargas. Peru lost their momentum and Cuba achieved the 25-22.

The tie-break was as exciting and unpredictable as the entire match. Both teams spiked successfully, with Frías and Gracia as the main scorers for Peru and Cuba respectively. Cuba grabbed a small lead just before the court change (8-6), but had to struggle to advance to 12-11, with Lescay blocking once again. However, Frias pushed Peru until the match ball (14-13) and a Cuban unforced error wrapped up the game by 15-13.

Press Conference:

Sulian Matienzo, Cuba captain:"It was a great volleyball game. The final set could have gone either way. I'm very happy with my team despite the result, because we were able to grow one step at a time during the tournament."

Angela Leyva, Peru captain:"I agree that both teams could have won this game. Both teams did some very good volleyball. As for my side, I think we all played well and fought until the very end. Now we will try to do even better against Canada."

Juan Carlos Gala Rodriguez, Cuba coach:"I want to congratulate Peru for this match. We knew this game was going to be hard. Every set was decided by the smallest of margins and I believe Peru was more accurate in the key moments of the game. I'm very satisfied anyway, because I see great progress in the girls. I want them to play every ball like the last one; it doesn't matter what result we achieve."

Natalia Malaga, Peru coach:"I would like to congratulate Cuba as well. They recovered from every bad situation in the game. We were able to take advantage from some of their mistakes to win. I'm convinced that these two teams have learnt and grown a lot since the beginning of the tournament. There's a lot of potential to continue working and we plan to do it together."