Argentina downs Mexico in five-set thriller

CALI, Colombia, December 1, 2021.- Argentina downed Mexico in five thrilling sets 3-2 (22-25, 26-24, 25-14, 11-25, 16-14) in their first outing in pool A at the women’s volleyball tournament of the I Junior Pan American Games at the Evangelista Mora Coliseum.

Argentina recovered from a seven-point deficit (4-11) in the first set, edging Mexico to miss 2 set points but still falling in the first set, and recovering to come out on top in an exciting five sets.

Argentina held advantage only in blocking by a 17-11 margin, while Mexico finished with 59-53 advantage in kills, a slim 6-5 margin in serves and committed one less error (25-26) than Argentina.

Outside hitter and captain Angeles Ligorría was Argentina’s leading scorer with 22 points on 16 kills, five blocks and one ace. Other three players from Argentina scored double-figures, outside hitter Sol Beltramino contributed with 16 points, Gabriela Corzo added 14 points and middle blocker Julieta Sandez scored 10 points including 8 effective blocks.

Mexican Grecia Castro scored a match-high of 26 points on 19 kills, 4 blocks and three aces, joined by opposite hitter Marian Ovalle and outside hitter Daniela Siller tallied 18 and 11 points respectively.

Argentina meets Colombia and Mexico faces Suriname on day two of the event.

Angeles Lgorria, captain of Argentina: “We are so happy to have won this difficult match. We had already studied Mexico; they are a great team with depth. Because it was our debut we expected a long match. It’s hard to play well all the time, that’s why we had many ups and downs, we were able to solve and recover from the adversity”.

Pablo Martin, head coach of Argentina: “We expected a difficult match, a hard one. Mexico is a team that plays well, with experienced players. Our team is young and needs to find their game. Sometimes we did well, on occasions it was really hard and the tie-break went point by point. Argentina is used to battle, we are a tough team and very competitive. There is always room for improvement and we will study what happened today, the fourth set gave us a hard time, we did not get in rhythm”.

Luis León, head coach of Mexico: “The fifth set could have gone for both teams, the level was similar. I believe we committed more unforced errors, when we held a three or four advantage we committed an error and that gave Argentina a chance to get closer. We failed in the last points. We have to observe Colombia; we know they are a good team. Qualifying will be complicated, we are all looking for that and nothing is written yet and anything can happen”.

Grecia Castro, captain of Mexico: “It was a good match that surprised us a lot, in the fourth set we left them lower and we said to ourselves, why are we struggling if we can do it. I don’t know what happened in the fifth set. We gave a good spectacle. We have two more matches before the next round and I believe we have the team to get there, we know we can do more”.