Peru is the U18 Girls’ Pan American Champion
DURANGO, Mexico, May 26, 2019. - Peru is the Girls’ U18 Pan
American Champion defeating Puerto Rico 3-0 (26-24, 25-16,
25-22) in the title match of the fifth edition of the event that
concluded on Sunday at Auditorio del Pueblo of Durango, Mexico.
Peru entered the event already qualified to the FIVB World
Championship, won their first ever U18 Pan American Cup and
first ever medal in the history of the event. For Puerto Rico,
this is their second silver medal; they lost to Brazil in 2013.
Set one has long rallies, fast moves and was tied on numerous
occasions with points going to each side; Puerto Rico lost two
set-points (24-22) to Peru’s effective blockers to move on top
26-24. In set two, Peru did not give up and kept on pushing
hard, finding a way to move on top on Puerto Rico’s errors to a
sizeable 18-10 advantage commanded by Alondra Alarcon and
Janelly Ceopa; Puerto Rico with little opportunities to respond.
In set three Puerto Rico started strong to be on top 10-7 but
Peru remained calm and struck back harder to finish with the
straight set win.
Peru won the title match to Puerto Rico leading 42-34 in spikes
and committing fewer errors (18-29). Puerto Rico was superior in
blocks 7-4 and in aces by 3-1.
Outside hitter Janelly Ceopa topped Peru’s scorers with a
match-high of 15 points all in kills, outside hitter Alondra
Alarcon scored 10 points on kills and opposite Camila Perez
finished with 9 points. Sofia Victoriá led Puerto Rico with 13
points on kills and Valeria Otero along with Alondra Maldonado
joined in with 9 and 8 points respectively.
Janelly Ceopa, the best scorer said “we are very happy to have
reached our objective”. About facing Puerto Rico again she added
“we lost to them in pool-play and today we had a better
attitude, we used all our strength and things were different. We
didn’t allow Puerto Rico to breathe because they could have made
Natalia Málaga Peru’s coach indicated “this victory comes from
many years working, our preparation has taken time to reach our
objectives, and for that you practice and work. Today I was
worried that Puerto Rico could wake up and pressure us, this is
normal in this category because the girls have ups and downs to
manage a final match mentally speaking. These two teams are
strong and they performed different than in pool-play where the
match was dynamic, maybe Puerto Rico didn’t want to play that
much because they have qualified to worlds and Peru had too much
pressure to win, who knows; its difficult to prepare them