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Argentina goes for Gold at U20 Pan Am Cup

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, May 12, 2017.- Argentina won their semifinal match to Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-21, 25-11, 25-9) at the Women’s U20 Pan American Cup on Friday night at San Jose, Costa Rica.

Argentina, who won the South American ticket to the U20 World Championship, had no complications in beating Puerto Rico in straight sets. With this outcome, United States qualifies to the World Championship as Norceca top finisher. United States beat Argentina in pool-play 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21).  

Argentina had a slow start while Puerto Rico’s players pushed hard to pull out of a five point deficit in set one, but finally gave in to Argentina’s tactical game. Sets two and three finished with an overwhelming score for Argentina, as Puerto Rico seemed to execute without structure. 

The winners were more effective in spiking by 41-23 margin, as well as in blocking with 8-4 advantage. In serves, both scored four points. Argentina scored on 22 opponent errors and only committed ten.

Benisse Soria and Anahi Tossi with double digits, 14 and 12 points respectively, led Argentina, while Dariana Hollingsworth with 11 points was Puerto Rico’s top scorer.

Azul Benitez, Argentina’s captain: “We finished with a huge advantage after a difficult first set. I consider that Puerto Rico had no chance to get into their usual rhythm like we did with very demanding matches; this helped us a lot”.

Guillermo Caceres, Argentina’s Head Coach: “We came out a hard first set, Puerto Rico had more energy than us, and their previous matches weren’t as difficult as ours. Today we played a very difficult match and it showed in our slow beginning, it felt like empty. This is a spectacular group and limited their errors with hard work”.

Dariana Hollingsworth, Puerto Rico’s captain: “Our passing was off, we couldn’t execute our game plan; our errors were many. We played well the first set and had fewer errors. Argentina’s serves damaged us and they defended very well”.

Julio Melendez, Puerto Rico’s Head Coach: “We fought hard over the net in set one and managed to perform controlled, after that we fell in desperation. The team couldn’t recover, we made adjustments and changed our line-up, but Argentina was much more focused”.