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Mexico qualifies to U19 Boys’ Pan Am Cup semifinals


MONTERREY, Mexico, March 22, 2017 - Host team Mexico granted a spot in the second round of U19 Boys’ Pan American Cup and became the third undefeated squad after beating Nicaragua in straight sets on Wednesday night. Scores were 25-18, 25-20 and 25-14.


Raymond Stephens closed as scoring leader for Mexico with 11 points while Axel Manuel Tellez and Miguel Sarabia concluded with 10 apiece. For Nicaragua, captain Jonny Zeledon topped with 14 units. Mexico dominated in services with a total of 15 aces (four by Stephens and four by Sarabia) against 3 by Nicaragua as well as a 7-1  advantage in blocks. Mexico classified to the semifinals after winning its two preliminary round matches in three sets each.


Mexico´s scoring leader, Raymond Stephens: “This has been a very interesting tournament. We feel great in the transition from the beach to the court. We expect to qualify. If we can do so, this would be our first indoor volleyball world championship after playing on the sand in Cyprus.”


Captain of Nicaragua, Jonny Zeledón: “We had the attitude to fight during this match, but they showed more experience. Attitude is very important losing or winning. We played a good match, but they kept their advantage.”


Coach of Mexico, Gabriela Alarcon: “It was very important to classify in first place and to be among the best two group leaders in the tournament to get in to the semis. We are glad for that. The boys are working hard, step by step to improve.”


Coach of Nicaragua, Osman Hernandez: “We were looking how to play a good match. We didn´t want to be so low in the score. When we began, we could put some pressure, but Mexico’s servers are too strong. However, our guys gave their best.”