Bari, Italy, September 29, 2014 – Teenager star spiker Melissa Teresa Vargas Abreu was not able to help the young team of Cuba record a win at the 2014 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship before going home, but she will cherish the memory of playing in Bari, at the world's most prestigious volleyball tournament.
“It was definitively a great experience, even though we did not manage to go through to the second round or to win any match. We still seized the opportunity to learn and improve,” she said.
Despite the poor results of what is traditionally one of the powerhouses of women’s volleyball, which has won three gold medals at the World championship in 1978, 1994 and 1998, the 14-year-old outside hitter impressed everyone attending their matches. Scoring 67 points in 16 sets, she has made her mark in the World Championship.
Vargas took up volleyball at the age of eight, after being scouted in a sports club in Cuba and recruited to volleyball. Cuban legend player Mireya Luis is her idol, from whom she draws inspiration in order to make her dream come true. “I hope I will be a great volleyball player if I train hard. My team and I are going to focus on the next South American Championship in Mexico,” she said.
The high-level competition at the World Championship will be a great learning experience for Vargas and her young teammates.
“We had a great goal. Even though we did not go as well as we had expected, we consider this a great experience anyway,” said Cuba coach Juan Carlos Gala.
Volleyball fans from all over the world will also remember the performance of the talented player, who has amazing jumping ability and explosive force. Bari said goodbye to Vargas and the young Cuban side with a great enthusiastic applause and wishes of good luck for the future.