Moreno's team finished sixth in the U23 World Championship in Slovenia attaining victories over China and Brazil
Havana, Cuba, April 5, 2020 – Eight years after her first contact with the game at the National School of Volleyball, Cuban Gretell Moreno has tasted the experience of playing in a foreign league, an experience the 22-year-old setter said was very positive.
Moreno is now back in Cuba with seven other compatriots who played in the shortened Peruvian League because of the ongoing pandemic coronavirus but optimistic about how this first chance to play overseas will contribute to her development into a more seasoned setter.
“I know that the playing level in Peru is not comparable to the European leagues but it is a good way to start and see how the professional teams work and the tools put within your reach,” commented Moreno of her season with Club Regatas Lima during an interview with JIT Magazine of Cuba.
Moreno recognized the importance of the technical, physical and psychological aspects involved in a match but underlined what the technology brings to the game.
“As a setter all the data you receive before the matches provides you information about the way to distribute the game,” Moreno commented. “Also you know the effectiveness of the attacking opponents and their tendencies during a match.”
Gretell also gave importance to the balanced level of the opponents she faced during her time with Regatas Lima.
“Back there we faced different opponents of more or less the same level and volume of play which was very important in perfecting your overall game, especially the technical part,” she said.
Moreno is taking the Peruvian experience as a launching pad to move to Europe if the chance arrives in the future.
“You have to crawl first and then walk before running,” she said. “Obviously, in a few years I would like to move to Europe but it all depends on the strength and discipline that I impose on my work.”
Moreno commented that when the Peruvian league stopped in the first week of March all the Cuban and foreign players were lodged in apartments except her who was invited to stay at the home of teammate Jimena Vallejo Villar, whose parents are members of the private Club Regatas Lima.
"I am very grateful for the gesture of Roberto and Estela, the parents of Jimena, for taking all the measures and dedication to make my stay in Peru the less traumatic possible and to make sure I would not be alone during those difficult days. They are a family with close ties with the Peruvian sport,” she said.
She added that her other compatriots were also in safe places, well taken care and in constant communication between them and also with their families in Cuba.
Besides Moreno, the other Cuban players who spent a quarantine of 14 days in Peru before traveling to their country for another similar period away from their homes were: Claudia Hernandez and Jessica Aguilera of Alianza Lima, Yelennys Díaz and Carmela Massip with Tupac Amarú, and Diaris Pérez, Laura Suárez and Regla Gracia with Jaamsa.
Finally, Moreno invited all the people in Cuba to follow all the government rules put in place to preserve everyone’s health.
“It is essential that all of us contribute with discipline, avoiding unnecessary social contacts and crowds,” she said. “We must have a perception of the danger of this pandemic and we must behave with responsibility.”