* Dominican Republic
All set for the I Men´s Final Four Cup
For the first time the NORCECA Volleyball Confederation and the Pan American Volleyball Union will embark in the event Men’s Final Four Cup to be held in Gymnasium Nuevo Leon Unido of the city of Monterrey.
The competition presents the national teams of Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and host Mexico, who will contest in a round-robin format from November 6-8 to determine the finals to take place on Saturday November 9.
The coaches of the teams expressed their desire to make the best performance as one of them will hold the title of the first ever Men Final Four.
Vincent Pichette (Canada): “Our team is made of young players, for most of them their first international event in the senior team, so it’ll be a great opportunity for their growth and for us a chance for their evaluation. We have three senior players in our roaster, who bring experience and guidance to the team.”
Osiel Vasquez (Dominican Republic): “We want to battle for the first place and I believe we can because our team has had a great deal of preparation. The team is united and they perform well on the court.
Jorge Azair (Mexico): “Mexico is presenting a team combined with U21, U23 and senior players because we’re taking this event as an opportunity to observe new players to conform our national team for next year’s busy schedule which includes World League, World Championship Qualifier and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz. Our team will play as we usually do, with excellence and especially with heart.”
Captain Luis Arias of Venezuela on behalf of his coach as part of their delegation had not yet arrived prior to the general technical meeting said “we are grateful for the invitation and being part of this important competition; our goal is to give a good presentation having in mind that we’re opening new doors for the future of volleyball in Venezuela.”
A good start for Mexico in Men’s Final Four
Mexico had a good start at the I Men’s Final Four Cup defeating Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 21-25, 25-14)on opening day.
The home team began strong winning the first two sets while Dominicans had a comeback in the third edging the locals to start the fourth and final set with different tactics which turned out in their favor. Mexico showed superiority in the blocking category with 15-4 advantage
Samuel Cordova along with Tomas Aguilera were Mexico’s top scorers with 13 points apiece, both with 6 and 5 points respectively by aces. Henry Tapia also with 13 points led Dominican Republic, followed by Luis Adames who scored 12 points.
“I am satisfied with the victory, we always play good matches against Dominican Republic which makes a great spectacle” indicated captain Tomas Aguilera. “Our blocking improved in the fourth set, combined with our serving. I am glad to be in Monterrey and hope to see more fans during the next days” he finished.
Gerardo Aquino congratulated Mexico’s bravery by saying “they didn’t give up after we won the third set taking advantage of our lack of consistency and making it an easy win in the end”.
Coach Jorge Azair explained that the four teams here are trying different players and combinations making the match change its rhythm “in our case, we’re trying Tomas in the position left by Ivan and I’m glad how he responded, this will improve our blocking in this position. We were determined to be stronger in the fourth, improving our service and blocking, making our opponents lose confidence.
“Our mistakes in defense and reception were evident. I’m not making excuses, but we arrived late to the venue and the team wasn’t able to warm-up properly. In the third set we made some changes in our line-up, improving our defense but Mexico did a good job” said coach Osiel Vasquez.
Canada beats Venezuela in opening match
Canada opened the I Men’s Final Four Cup beating Venezuela by 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-18 ) at Nuevo Leon Unido Gym on Wednesday.
Venezuela’s late arrival at Monterrey took a toll on their performance, although they were able to keep the score close. Canada showed more consistency even if they had some reception difficulties.
Canada held advantages of 8-5 in blocking, 8-2 in service points and 35-31 in spikes. Their unforced errors were similar, Canada with 22 and Venezuela with 24.
Henry Voth led Canada with 12 points followed by Steve Gotch with 10. For Venezuela, Luis Arias finished with 9 points while Daniel Escobar and Hector Salerno chipped in with 8 points apiece.
“We were nervous in the beginning, for me this is my first international match with our national team; I tried to do my best and always keeping in mind that with more preparation and practice we’ll do better. Venezuela has tall players who made things difficult for us” said captainJustin Boudreault.
For Luis Arias, captain of Venezuela, his team had a good performance despite their difficulties in arrival, “first I congratulate Canada for the win; as for my team, it was hard to get in the rhythm we’re used to and play more confident. I don’t want to diminish Canada’s performance, but if the conditions were better Venezuela could have won. I hope we’ll improve as the tournament advances”.
Canadian coach Vincent Pichette expressed “I sympathize with Venezuela, even if our traveling arrangements weren’t good either. We knew Venezuelans had good character, it was a tough match and I instructed my players not to take anything lightly. This match was getting the jitters out because it was a first experience for almost the entire team”.
“I am very proud of my team” began saying Cuban coach Gerardo Nodarse for Venezuela. “My boys come from sleeping two nights in airports, we have never practiced nor played with a Molten ball and the outcome was great. They played with good attitude and this tournament will prepare us for Bolivariano Games in two weeks” he added.
Venezuela wins the Bronze Medal at Men’s Final Four
Venezuela defeated Canada in straight sets 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 to win the Bronze Medal at the I Men’s Final Four Cup.
Highly motivated for the rematch against Canada and coming win-less from the preliminary round, Venezuela took control from start to finish. Canada pushed hard but came downhill engagingin mistakes to finish in fourth place.
Venezuela was better than Canada offensively with a 42-30 advantage and also in aces by 5-2. They broke even in the blocking area and unforced errors by 9 and 19 respectively.
Luis Arias was the top scorer with 13 points for Venezuela, accompanied by Carlos Paez, Hector Salerno and Daniel Escobar with 10 points apiece. Canada’s Jeremie Lortie finished with 10 points.
“Overall this was a good preparation for us, it was a good match and Canada performed well. My team showed improvement from the first match and we’re very pleased with the bronze medal” indicated Venezuela’s captain Luis Arias.
Canadian captain Justin Boudreault said “it was a good game and our little mistakes cost us the match, as well as Venezuela’s good weapon: their attack. We must practice not only in our skills but in staying sharp”.
Cuban coach for Venezuela Gerardo Nodarse leaves very pleases with their performance, he expressed “the whole tournament was a learning experience and today’s opponent, Canada, showed a lot of perspective”.
“The goal was to give exposure to our young players and for them to gain experience, which was a privilege and we’re thankful with the organization. In the second set there was a sequence of errors that discouraged my team. Skill wise there is much to work on and we’re taking home a lot of information to evaluate” said Vincent Pichette of Canada.
Mexico first title holder of the Men’s Final Four Cup
Mexico became the first champion of the Men’s Final Four Cup after a 3-0(25-17, 25-23, 25-17) victory over Dominican Republic at Nuevo Leon Unido Gym in Monterrey.
Mexico had an outstanding performance with huge 40-24 advantage in kills leaving Dominican Republic with no chance to respond and crown themselves as champions undefeated.
Tomas Aguilera was the top Mexican scorer with 15 points and Jesus Valdes contributed with 12 points. Pedro Luis Garcia led Dominican Republic with 11 points, followed by Elnis Palomino with 10 points.
“There’s nothing better than ending the year with a title championship and better if it’s at home” expressed with joy captian Tomas Aguilera.
Captain Gerardo Aquino “Heredia” of Dominican Republic was happy with the silver medal and about the Mexican squad said “we weren’t able to contain their serves”.
“The instructions were to make it difficult for the setter to accommodate the ball well and my team responded well; also our defense and reception were better than Dominican Republic. I am thrilled with the win” said coach Jorge Azair.
For Cuban coach of Dominican Republic Osiel Vasquez, Mexico was the clear winner “they did it better than us, they had a superb defense containing about 25 of our kills; Mexico has beaten us four times in this year only. They pushed hard with serves and we tried to do the same but failed. The boys go back with a medal that motivates them to do things better”.
Tomas Aguilera of Mexico named Men’s Final Four Cup MVP
Tomas Aguilera of Mexico was selected the Most Valuable Player for the I Men’s Final Four Cup as he led Mexico to the title on Saturday at Nuevo Leon Unido Gym in Monterrey.
Aguilera received the honor during the Award Ceremony presided by Nelson Ramirez President of the NORCECA Control Committee and Jesus Perales President of the Mexican Volleyball Federation.
Also from Mexico, Jesus Valdes earned the award for the Best Spiker, Samuel Cordon for the Best Blocker and Pedro Rangel for the Best Setter.
Dominican Republic’s Ernis Palomino was selected as the Best Server, Edwin Peguero as Best Libero and Henry Tapia as Best Scorer.
Hector Salerno of Venezuela captured the award for the Best Receiver and Marshall Douglas of Canada for the Best Digger.
All awards were selected based on the Volleyball Information System (VIS) statistics.