Puerto Rico Slips Past Canada in Five-Set Thriller


OMAHA, Nebraska, September 18, 2013 – Puerto Rico trimmed Canada 19-25, 28-26, 25-23, 13-25, 15-8 Wednesday afternoon in the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship being held at Ralston Arena through Saturday.


Puerto Rico won Pool C with a 2-0 record and eight points, while Canada concluded the stage in second place with a 1-1 record and seven points. Although it won Pool C, Puerto Rico, falls into Thursday’s quarterfinals as the lowest ranked pool winner and will face Pool B second-place Mexico. Canada finished the pool stage in second place and will play in the quarterfinals versus Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday.


Karina Ocasio led Puerto Rico with 21 points and Aurea Cruz followed with 20 points. Puerto Rico captain Yarimar Rosa contributed 17 points in the victory. Canada was led by Jaimie Thibeault’s 17 points, while teammates Tabitha Love and Lisa Barclay produced 16 and 15 points, respectively.


Puerto Rico held a 62-53 margin in kills, but Canada held significant advantages in blocks (14-10) and aces (7-4). Further, the Canadians benefited from 33 Puerto Rican errors and held their own errors to 24.


Photos of the match can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jd4w02787zx5shp/Y0ZopN9WLz.  All matches in the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship can be viewed online at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Events/Live-Webcast.


Puerto Rico Captain Yarimar Rosa: “It was harder than we expected. We knew it was going to be hard. We were really trying to get the victory in three or four sets, but we’re happy we got the victory. (If I could go work on something right now) I would say blocking and better serves. We missed too many serves again.”


Puerto Rico Coach Jose Mieles: “It was fun. No matter how tight the match is, we’re always playing with heart and it’s always fun to play. We have to clean up a lot of errors. We made too many and to compete at this level we have to clean those up.”


Canada Captain Brittney Page: “It was definitely frustrating that we didn’t persist in the fifth set. It was really disappointing for us. I think we just needed to maintain our highest level and we could have prevailed.”


Canada Coach Arnd Ludwig: “We had a great start in the fifth set, I think it was 5-2, and all of a sudden we stopped playing. There were a few good serves from their side and we went down a little. I think this is something that we have to learn from; always try to keep the same pace and don’t have so many ups and downs.”