Mexico brushes aside Costa Rica in Playoff opener


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, July 16, 2014 - Mexico dismissed Costa Rica 25-14, 25-17, 25-11 to take a significant step in their quest to qualify for the Women’s World Volleyball Championships in the opening match of the NORCECA Playoff Wednesday night at Sport & Physical Education Centre of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies.


In the battle of the two highest ranked teams in the tournament, the Mexicans, who are ranked just one place higher at No. 28 in the world, were completely dominant and needed just 71 minutes to achieve their victory.


Captain Andrea Rangel (16), Lizbeth Sainz (14) and Dulce Carranza (11) scored in doubles figures for the winners, while skipper Verania Willis led the way for Costa Rica with nine points.


The Mexicans completely dominated in service aces (13-2) and both teams scored with four blocks.


Mexican coach Miguel Jorge Azair was relieved because he expected a stronger challenge and admitted that he was “worried about the Costa Ricans.” This was a very important game and Costa Rica did not play well, but I am happy about how well our girls played in the first game of the tournament.”


Costa Rican coach Horacio Bastit stated “they pressured us with their serve and this is the worst game we have played against Mexico. We really struggled with passing the ball.”


Nicaragua, Panama and host country Trinidad and Tobago are the other countries involved in the round-robin tournament and the team which comes out on top on July 20 will secure the 24th and final place in the World Championships, which will take place in Italy from September 23-October 12.