Cubans pocket all the gold in La Paz

La Paz, Mexico, April 10, 2017 – Cuban teams claimed the gold medals in both genders at La Paz Beach Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, the first stop of the 2017 NORCECA Circuit.

Claiming three-set victories in both cases, Lidiannis Echeverria and Leila Martinez and Karell Peña and Daisel Quesada took home the women and men's top honours, respectively, in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

Echeverria and Martinez battled Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson for 53 minutes before claiming a breathtaking 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13) victory.

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Cubans Daisel Quesada and Karell Peña flanked by both Mexican tandems

Meanwhile, Peña and Quesada overcame home favorites Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros of Mexico-A 2-1 (13-21, 21-17, 15-8) in a 45-minute battle cheered from start to finish by the fans.

“Before leaving Cuba I promised my parents this victory so I dedicate it to them,” Echeverria said. “We came here looking for the gold medal and it was a real battle.”

Martinez said the support from the fans “was important not only in the final but during the whole weekend.”

“It is a huge win for us and we are going through a lot of emotions,” Quesada said. “We came here with the goals of winning the tournament and getting the points to participate in this year’s World Championship.”

It was the second straight win for a men’s Cuban team at La Paz, following the victory claimed by Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio González last year.

In the women’s semifinals, Echeverria/Martinez subdued the United States' tandem of Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) while Bansley/Wilkerson eliminated Canadian compatriots Taylor Pischke and Kristina May 2-0 (21-17, 21-13).

Flint and Larsen took the bronze medals with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) victory over Pischke/May.

In the men’s semifinals, Peña/Quesada dispatched Jon Mesko and Skylar Del Sol of the United States 2-0 (21-13, 21-11) in just 26 minutes while Virgen/Ontiveros defeated fellow Mexicans Jose Rubio and Josue Gaxiola 2-0 (22-20, 21-14).

In the match for the third position, Rubio/Gaxiola defeated Mesko/Del Solar 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-8).

Sunday’s Women Results

Semifinals: CAN-A d CAN-B 2-0 (21-17, 21-13), CUB d USA-B 2-0 (21-17, 21-17). Bronze Medal Match: USA-B d CAN-B 2-0 (21-18, 21-17). Gold Medal Match: CUB d CAN-A 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13). 

Consolation Round

Semifinals: MEX-A d NCA 2-0 (21-15, 21-8), USA-A d CRC 2-0 (21-10, 21-14). Positions 7-8: NCA d CRC 2-0 (21-18, 21-16). Positions 5-6: MEX-A d USA-A 2-1 (22-24, 21-18, 15-8).

Sunday’s Men Results

Semifinals: MEX-A d MEX-B 2-0 (22-20, 21-14), CUB d USA-B 2-0 (21-13, 21-11). Bronze Medal Match: MEX-B d USA-B 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-8). Gold Medal Match: CUB d MEX-A 2-1 (13-21, 21-17, 15-8).

Consolation Round

Semifinals: GUA d ISV 2-0 (21-12, 24-22), CAN-A d CAN-B 2-0 (21-11, 21-14). Positions 11-12: TRI d NCA 2-0 (21-0, 21-0). Positions 9-10: USA-A d CRC 2-0 (21-16, 21-10). Positions 7-8: CAN-B d ISV 2-0 (21-0, 21-0). Positions 5-6: GUA d CAN-A 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 15-13). 


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