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United States and Cuba qualify for 2012 World Grand Prix

Cuba's Rosanna Giel attacks down the middle during her side's victory over Puerto Rico at the Pan American Cup on Thursday
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, July 7, 2011 – The United States will meet the Dominican Republic while Cuba take on Brazil in the semifinals of the Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup at Colegio de Bachilleres Gymnasium in Ciudad Juarez on Friday as all four teams secured their tickets for the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Two other berths in the premier annual women’s volleyball event will be awarded to the winners of matches between Peru and Argentina and Canada against Puerto Rico also on Friday at the Universidad de Juarez Gym. Mexico and Trinidadand Tobago will clash for ninth place.

In Thursday’s action, the United States defeated Argentina in straight sets and Cuba downed Puerto Rico also in consecutive frames. Peru also overcame Mexico, Canada defeated Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica saw off Chile.

Foluke Akinradewo scored 15 points, including six blocks, to lead the United States to an easy 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-19) victory over Argentina. Megan Hodge added 10 as the American team out blocked the defeated side 12-3. Lucia Fresco led Argentina with 10 points.

Cuba scored a 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-14) victory over Puerto Rico.  Cubans Ana Cleger and Kenia Carcaces charted 13 points apiece while Aury Cruz tallied 10 for Puerto Rico. The winners had a 13-4 advantage in the blocking category.
Peru edged Mexico 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) keeping alive their chances of a ticket to next year’s World Grand Prix. Angelica Aquino led four Peruvian players in double figures with 15 points while Karla Ortiz, Mirtha Uribe and Diana Soto added 12, 11 and 10 respectively. Mexicans Martha Revuelta, Karla Sainz and Dulce Carranza each finished with nine points.

Sarah Pavan and Kyla Richey registered 14 and 11 points to lead Canada to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-17) win over Trinidad and Tobago to stay in contention for the fifth place and the ticket to the Grand Prix. The Canadians out-blocked their opponents 12-7 and also led in serving aces 6-2.  Kelly-Anne Billingy and Channon Thompson had 13 and nine respectively for the defeated side.

Costa Rica took only three sets to finish in 11th by defeating Chile in straight sets (25-16, 25-20, 25-17). Karen Cope and Mariela Quesada, were the best scorers for the winners, with 17 and 12 points respectively. Chile had in Francisca Espejo their best player with six points.


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