Not much has changed for the Utah Stinger’s lineup from last year, with all players who competed in the Salt Lake City Championships returning this year. With solid team chemistry, the team had no issues going 3-0 on the weekend. However, the Stingers can contribute some of their success to their new outside hitter Inovel Romero Valdés.
In his first appearance with the Cuban National team at 17 years old, Inovel helped get the team a 3rd place finish in the 2012 World League. Romero competed with Cuba in the U19 World Championships, World Championships, Pan American Cup, Central American and Caribbean Games, and the NORCECA Champions Cup. After attending college at the Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Inovel has had a solid career overseas in Lebanon, Bahrain, Puerto Rico, and France. With his teams, he finished 2nd in the Lebanese 1st Division (Tannourine Club), 3rd in the Bahrain league and 2nd in the Gulf Clubs Championships (Dar Kulaib), 1st in the Puerto Rican League (Mets de Guaynabo), and then 9th in the French A Ligue this last year (Arago de Sete).
Already this season with the NVA, Inovel has scored 25 kills (hitting 43% efficiency), one block, passed 96% perfect reception and is ranked 7th for serving in the league with five aces. Even as he gets his feet wet in the league and works on developing his connection with his new team, everything has looked easy for Inovel on the court. Romero was still blasting balls well above the block with leisurely approaches and defensive moves and made the most brutal swings and serves to look like nothing with his defense. As Inovel continues to warm up this season, fans and the league can expect big things from the Cuban this season. The Stingers look to repeat last year’s success.
To catch up on all the Event 1 matches and see Inovel Romero in action on the court, head on over to Youtube at NVA USA. Fans can also head on over the NVA News page to read a written recap of all three of the Stinger’s matches. Don’t forget to follow Inovel (@inovelromero_15), the Utah Stingers (@stingersnvausa), and the NVA (@nvausa) on Instagram and Facebook to get weekly updates of the team and your favorite players.