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Mexico wins Group C opener to Costa Rica

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago, October 13, 2017.- Mexico defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-21) to claim the NORCECA Group C Qualifier at the National Cycling Centre in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Both teams had a slow beginning but Mexico went on winning spaces while breaking apart Costa Rica’s well-structured defense.  Mexico had the opportunity to change line-up in the upper part of set three.

Mexican Samantha Bricio led all scorers with 14 points including 11 kills, followed by Dulce Carranza with 12 points on 9 kills and 2 aces. Yuliana Gonzalez and Paola Ramirez topped Costa Rica with 9 and 7 points respectively.

Mexico finished with 32-21 advantage in attacks, 6-2 in blocking and 7-4 in aces. Mexico scored on 30 opponent errors while committing 28.

Ricardo Naranjo, Head Coach of Mexico: “Andrea Rangel is recovering from a shoulder injury and we won’t take any risks, she will play only if necessary, if we reach a critical moment in the tournament. Rangel is this team’s leader and she brings motivation to the girls. We controlled Costa Rica attacking diagonally which is their handicap. This is a short tournament so I need all my players to be ready to perform, that’s why a made some variations. Samantha is a positive element for our team; she is also recovering from an injury”.

Andrea Rangel, Captain of Mexico: “The team has to adapt to the court and among themselves, that’s why the first match is always important. Despite’s Costa Rica good defense we won. I am sure we will reach our goal and qualify to the World Championship”.

Cesar Salas, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “Our strongest asset is our defense and we lifted a lot of attacks, we performed well. We wanted to be more effective counter attacking and I am pleases how the players regrouped. We must hold-off our defense longer, it´s our weapon and we must work on it more. We should also find better solutions while attacking, like Mexico did”.

Mijal Hines, Captain of Costa Rica: “We knew Mexico has a solid and strong team, but we performed very well; mostly in set two because our reception was more effective. Our blocking failed but we battled hard. Tomorrow we will be stronger against Trinidad & Tobago”.