Dramatic tie-break victory for Puerto Rico against Peru
DURANGO, Mexico, May 22, 2019. - Puerto Rico beat Peru in
dramatic tie-break 3-2 (26-24, 14-25, 15-24, 27-25, 15-13) in
pool B at the U18 Girls’ Pan American Cup being played at
Auditorio del Pueblo of Durango, Mexico.
This was Puerto Rico’s first win, entering in tomorrow’s final
pool-play match to Cuba (2-0) with 1-1 record despite the loss
of key player Sofia Victoria who missed the match after
yesterday’s injury against Guatemala.
It was a nail biting first set with Puerto Rico taking charge,
reaching a sizeable six point margin (12-6) and remaining on top
up to a tied 23-23 score as Peru’s blockers slowed down their
Peru quickly recovered with effective spikes especially in the
middle and totally dominating Puerto Rico with comfortable
margins in sets two and three; still Puerto Rico showed a
spectacular display in defense. Peru worked hard in set four to
recover from a four-point deficit (12-16) pushing strong and
tying the scores on several occasions. Finally Puerto Rico came
on top in the tie-break benefiting from Peru’s unforced errors.
Puerto Rico did better in blocking with 16-11 margin; however,
Peru prevailed with 50-46 advantage in attacks and 3-2 in
serves. Puerto Rico allowed 50 points on errors while Peru
finished with 24.
Puerto Rico persevered with a balanced offense thru middle
blocker Alondra Maldonado with (16pts), outside hitter Valeria
Otero (13pts), middle blocker Marcelle Baez (13pts) and outside
hitter Jennifer Collazo (12pts). Three players excelled on
Peru’s side, middle blockers Yohmara Rivera (15pts) and Maria
Torres (12pts), along with outside hitter Carolina Milla
Peru (0-2) finishes pool-play facing Guatemala (0-2).
Top scorer middle blocker Alondra Maldonado of Puerto Rico said
it was a thrilling victory “Peru is not an easy opponent, thank
God we finished winning. Our starting setter is an important
piece for our team and sitting her affected us psychologically,
Peru took advantage of the situation. Today we showed our great
heart and tomorrow we can’t be too confident against Cuba”.
Puerto Rico’s coach Juan Carlos Rodríguez expressed “it’s a
satisfying victory with a lot of tension and setbacks. The girls
were able to execute as planned, with the game system we
determined before the match after studying videos of Peru. Peru
reached a sizeable advantage because we don’t have a good
physical condition; Peru plays all year long, we had
difficulties recovering during the match in that aspect. We will
look to win against Cuba but finishing second in our pool is