Lausanne, Switzerland, September 29, 2017 - Canada and Cuba have placed one foot through the door of the 2018 FIVB Women's World Championship in Japan, after both scored solid wins on the opening day of the first of three North & Central America and the Caribbean (NORCECA) qualifiers at the Vancouver suburb of Langley.
Cuba opened procedings with a 3-0 (25-8, 25-9, 25-19) sweep of Nicaragua in 59 minutes, led by Daymara Lescay who scored 13 points (three blocks and five aces). Coach Wilfredo Robinson Pupo brought on his three subs (of the ten players he has at his disposal in this tournament) midway through the match.Cuba's Dalila Palma Rodriguez attacks past Nicaragua's Hellen Mercedes Traña Lugo and Josafat Del Socorro Diaz Escorcia in Langley.
Hosts Canada followed up with an all-single-digit score of 3-0 (25-8, 25-8, 25-8) over Saint Lucia in 54 minutes, with middle blocker Alicia Ogoms leading the scoring on 13 points.
"I appreciate the spirit in which St. Lucia played; I think they tried to give everything they had and this is what sport is about," said Canada's Italian coach Marcello Abbondanza after the game. "I think my team was focused and just tried to play our best volleyball. Tomorrow we have Nicaragua and we have to try to have our best to qualify for the World Championships. Then we can think about Cuba (on Saturday)."
The two winning sides can mathematically secure the two qualifying spots in the four-team round robin tournanemt with a day to spare if they each win on Day 2, Friday.Day 2 schedule, Friday 29 September:
17:30 (00:30 Saturday GMT) Cuba v Saint Lucia
20:00 (03:00 Saturday GMT) Canada v Nicaragua
They will join hosts Japan, defending champions USA plus the already qualified teams of Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Italy, Azerbaijan, Germany, The Netherlands and Bulgaria from Europe, Brazil from South America, and China, Kazakhstan, Korea and Thailand from Asia.
Four more NORCECA tickets for the 2018 FIVB Women's World Championship will be handed out next month, when the Dominican Republic host Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Guatemala in Santo Dominigo, and Trinidad & Tobago host Mexico and Costa Rica in Port of Spain. Both these tournaments are scheduled for 13-15 October.
The three NORCECA qualifiers are part of the 2017 Senior Women's Continental Championship.
More information, including full calendar, live scoring, statistics and pictures, is available on the NORCECA website
Live streaming is available atwww.cbcsports.ca
.Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2018FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship 2018FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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