NOGALES, Sonora, June 18, 2022.-
Puerto Rico earned their first win at the
NORCECA Women’s Final Four Qualification
Tournament by defeating Costa Rica 3-0 (28-26,
25-19, 25-20) on Saturday at Nogales, Sonora.
Puerto Rico won a dramatic first set after
failing three set points and moving into the
second set with strength to jump to an early
six-point lead (14-8), finishing in three
straight sets, dominating with a 47-32 advantage
in kills and benefiting from 24 Costa Rican
errors. Puerto Rico also led 6-2 in blocks, but
Costa Rica held a slim 2-1 margin in serves.
Three players scored double-figures in Puerto
Rico’s offense, led by opposite hitter Elissa
Alcantara with 17 points on 15 kills and 2
blocks, outside hitter Valeria Vazquez and team
captain Sofia Victoria added 11 points each.
Costa Rica was headed by outside hitters Tamara
Espinoza with 11 points all on kills and Tania
Carazo with 10 points also on kills.
On the last day of competition, Puerto Rico
(1-1) faces host Mexico (1-0) and Costa Rica
(0-2) closes with Cuba (1-0).
Elissa Alcantara, Top Scorer of Puerto Rico:
“Honestly, it was about time we won; as a team
we’ve been waiting for this moment, so it’s
nice. In the first set we had a lot of silly
mistakes, we started tipping, serving hard and
making aggressive attacks. For tomorrow we are
excited to face Mexico and we really want to
Tania Carazo of Costa Rica:
“In the first set we managed to press Puerto
Rico with our serves, we took better risks with
our defense despite them being offensively
really good. We must work harder in defense,
which is our best strength and be smarter over
Fernando Morales, Head Coach of Puerto Rico:
“Costa Rica played strong the whole match, we
played better than yesterday, but still
committed errors from our younger players that
we must improve for tomorrow. It was a match
with long rallies, Costa Rica did a great job in
defense, and it was difficult, it was a hard
Pablo Acuña, Head Coach of Costa Rica:
“Our serves were effective in the first set,
tactically we executed our game plan, the energy
of the girls was better than yesterday, and we
were more aggressive in attacks, hitting high,
looking for their hands and that helped us
unbalance Puerto Rico. It was an exciting match
and Puerto Rico had to work for the win.
Tomorrow, we hope for fewer errors and be more
aggressive in serves, go on improving”.