Mexico tops pool B defeating Puerto Rico

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico, August 13, 2021. - Host Mexico topped pool B defeating Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-10, 25-15) at the Women’s U23 Pan American Cup on Friday night at the Olympic Gymnasium of Aguascalientes.

Once again Coach Luis Alberto Leon had the opportunity to use his entire roster in a match dominated by Mexico. The home team finishes the preliminary round with 3-0 record and will meet Suriname in semifinals, while Puerto Rico (1-2) plays against defending champion Dominican Republic.

Mexico edged Puerto Rico by huge margins in attacks 33-16 and serves 11-1; Puerto Rico did better in blocks 3-1. Mexico benefited by 30 Puerto Rican errors while limiting to 18 their own.

With 8 points apiece, opposite Marian Ovalle and Karen Paola Rivera led Mexico’s attackers, joined by middle blocker Cindy García and outside hitters Grecia Castro alongside Atenas Gutierrez with 7 points all. Puerto Rico’s offense was led by Karolina Rodríguez with 6 points, outside hitter Nahirka Malpica and opposite Ana Beatriz Fuentes added 5 points each.

Marian Ovalle top scorer of Mexico: “With our consistency we’ve been able to reach the positive results we were hoping for; we followed our coaches’ instructions and kept our concentration, focusing on the game. Qualifying to Cali was our first goal and now we want to reach the final match”.

Paola Martell Captain of Puerto Rico: “Mexico played well, we could have done better. We had too many highs and lows. We hope to put in practice all we’ve been training for the past months”.

Luis Alberto León Coach of Mexico: “Everything worked out well for my girls today, they did pretty well. We will keep our same system; we are ready for the semifinal”.

José Rivera Guinand Coach of Puerto Rico: “Tonight our reception wasn’t at its best and we must restructure again for what lies ahead. This is a part of the national team that will be competing at the U18 FIVB World Championship, they are 15 years old; they are gaining experience. In semifinals we will face defending champions, so we are going one match at a time”.