Cuba was victorious in both genders of the recently concluded Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament in Varadero Cuba, the second stop of the 2022 Norceca Beach Volleyball Tour.

Leila Martinez and Lidy Echeverría were crowned at home as queens of the women's segment. The pair of Martínez and Echeverría prevailed against Canadians Emma Glagau and Ruby Sorra 2-1 (21-12, 19-21, 15-12) in a close duel. USA pair of Iya Lindhal and Alexandra Wheeler won third place after defeating Guatemalans Natalia Girón and Laura Quiñones 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).

Miguel Ayón and Yosvani Carrasco completed the Cuban double victory. Ayon and Carrasco scored a comfortable 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win over the American duo of Travis Mewhirter and Thimothy Brewster. Third place went to another Cuban pair Jorge Luis Alayo and Noslen Díaz who edged Americans Ryan Smith and Michael Boag 2-1 (18-21, 21-12, 15-12).

The Jamaican pair of Ryck Webb and Noley Ferguson placed 14th of 16 teams. Coming into the tournament the Jamaicans were seeded 15. They played and lost their first two games against the eventual 2nd and 4th place teams USA A and USA B.

General Secretary of the Jamaica Volleyball Association, Audley Weir is optimistic based on the performances of the team.

“Jamaica did well under challenging circumstances. We saw a lot of positives from this trip. The team was very competitive against the Americans who are a volleyball powerhouse in the World. We will regroup and prepare for the next tournament,” Weir said.

Jamaica was the highest placed team from the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) region. The Jamaican women’s team will participate in the next leg of the Norceca Beach Circuit which will be held in La Paz, Mexico from May 13 – 16, 2022.

Jamaica’s beach volleyball teams are set to participate in the 2022 North, Central America and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Volleyball Tour this year thanks to the timely intervention of the Jamaica Olympic Association that has provided the necessary funding to the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA).

The 2024 Olympic cycle began in 2020, and without being able to compete for the last two years, Jamaica’s teams are forced to play catch up as other countries in the region were able to continue to train, compete and improve their rankings.

The lack of funding has also presented challenges as the JaVA was only able to send their Men’s team to the tour that is currently being held in Varadero, Cuba, and only the Women will be able to compete in the tour to be held in La Paz, Mexico from May 13-16, 2022.

However, thanks to the JOA, the JaVA will now be able to compete in the 2022 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tours, which is used to earn points and improve rankings in order to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and the Olympics.

With the support of the JOA, Jamaica will be sending both Men and Women's Beach Volleyball Teams on the following tours:

July 28 – July 31 – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

August 4- August 8 - Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

August 25 – August 29 – Canada

September 29 – October 3 – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

November 3 – November 7 – Hato Mayer, Dominican Republic

Audley Weir, General Secretary of JaVA, in thanking the JOA said “due to the financial support from the JOA, Jamaica is poised to qualify for major tournaments, as the lack of funding and not being able to participate in competitions in the past, has seen our teams narrowly missing out on qualifying for both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games,” he said.

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