Puerto Rico beats Guatemala in opening match of U18 Pan Am Cup


DURANGO, Mexico, May 21, 2019. – Puerto Rico beat Guatemala 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-9) in the opening match of the U18 Girls’ Pan American Cup at Auditorio del Pueblo of Durango, Mexico.


In pool B, Puerto Rico repeating the same squad from last week’s U20 Pan American Cup, committed several errors that put them in difficulties to overcome Guatemala’s high energy in sets one and two.


Captain Sofia Victoria of Puerto Rico couldn’t play the third set due to a minor injury while falling after blocking. The winners quickly recovered to set the pressure in set three.


Puerto Rico led (23-18) in attacks, (8-3) in blocks and (9-1) in serving points. In errors, Puerto Rico ended with 22 while Guatemala committed 22.


Outside hitter Jennifer Collazo topped Puerto Rico with 11 points on 9 kills and 2 aces, followed by setter Marian Trujillo scoring 7 points. From Guatemala, wing spiker Ivonne Cortéz scored 6 points on kills.


In pool B on day two, Puerto Rico (1-0) will face Peru and Guatemala (0-1) will face Cuba.


Leading scorer Jennifer Collazo indicated “our goal was to keep a balanced passing for a strong spike; we hope for a fast recovery from our captain, she is a key player in our team. In the second set two, Guatemala benefited from our weak passing”.


“I am worried for this game and for Sofia because she is our top attacker” said coach Juan Carlos Rodriguez of Puerto Rico. “As a team we committed too many errors, we must minimize them and not hand out points to any team” he ended.


Guatemalan captain, Jimena Castellanos expressed “we were disciplined in following our coaches’ instructions, our reception was key. Obviously Puerto Rico is taller than us, but we were able to hit against the block. The scores in the first sets really motivate us”.  


Cuban William Fernandez, Guatemala’s coach said it was a good tournament start despite the closing set “I consider it a good beginning because our opponent is a very complete team, they played in Peru and for our game level this match helps us to prepare to face Honduras. Guatemala had more confidence in the first two sets, they were animated and they played the best they could”.