Peru wins last semifinal spot at U18 Pan Am Cup

DURANGO, Mexico, May 24, 2019.- Peru won the last semifinal spot at the U18 Girls’ Pan American Cup beating Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-17, 26-24, 16-25, 25-22) at Auditorio del Pueblo of Durango, Mexico.

Peru eliminates Dominican Republic from the battle for the FIVB World Championship berth defeating the Caribbean team in quarterfinals with a character. Peru will face Mexico in semifinals and Dominican Republic will play for 5-8 positions against Guatemala.

Peru totally controlled the first set from the beginning, cruising to an astonishing seven point lead (18-11) with speed and moving all around the court to keep Dominican Republic under control. Peru and Dominican Republic fought stronger in set two in a battle of velocity and height won by Peru with extended score. The roles switched in set three as the Dominican girls barged over Peru hammering the ball every single time and jumping to a comfortable 16-8 lead and forcing a fourth set. Peru with good blocking and defense recovered from a five point deficit (7-12) to seal the semifinal spot in four sets.

Peru led in spikes 43-40 and committed fewer errors (34-42). Dominican Republic’s large 11-6 margin in blocks and 3-1 margin in aces did not pay off.

Janelly Ceopa topped Peruvian scorers with 16 points all in kills and Carolina Milla scored 10 points also on kills. Also contributing to Peru’s victory was Maria Lopez and Yohmara Rivera with 9 points apiece. Dominican Romina Cornelio scored a match-high of 19 points on 17 kills and 2 blocks, followed by Flormarie Heredia with 16 points on 13 kills, 2 blocks and one ace.

Janelly Ceopa, Peru’s top scorer said “Dominican Republic is tall but with skills we came on top. Our attitude was key in today’s victory; we played with all our energy because we were aware of the importance of this match”. About semifinals se expressed “our opponents should be prepared because we are going with all our strength”.

Head coach Natalia Málaga of Peru said, “it’s horrible being on the side line because you are watching what’s going to happen and you can’t give instructions fast enough for them to react”. About her team’s performance she indicated “for moments the team worked really well and on others we felt the pressure of our opponent. We all have errors. It was important to have the brain to come out winners. They are taller, that’s why we prepare to compensate that height defending a lot and with ability on the net. This competition is important for my player’s preparation”.