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Barajas spikes and serves to lead Mexican victory


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA (Sept. 26, 2017) – Mexico defeated St. Vincent & the Grenadines 25-7, 25-16, 25-10 on Tuesday to open the 2017 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Jorge Barajas sparked Mexico with a match-high 14 points including five aces. Gonzalo Ruiz De la Cruz added 10 points, which included five aces.


Kemaul Lee and Ronaldo Franklyn each scored five points to led St. Vincent & the Grenadines in their opening match of the tournament.


Mexico’s service game netted a 16-1 ace advantage and they held a slim 4-1 block margin. The Mexicans held a 32-14 lead in kills for the match.


The NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship is a qualification tournament into the 2018 FIVB World Championship. The top three teams in the 10-team field earn berths into the World Championship, while the top two teams in a second NORCECA qualifier held later this fall round out NORCECA’s five vacancies into the world event.


Mexico Coach Jorge Miguel Azair: “It was a good play to start the tournament, but this is a strong tournament. This match was important for this team so we could rotate in players. It is also very important win as we need to finish in the top two in the group.”


Mexico Captain Pedro Rangel: “I think we started out strong. We knew this team was not too difficult to play. It was more easy for us, but we always play strong in every game. I don’t know much about Martinique, I have never seen this team. But we always play strong against any opponent.”


St. Vincent Coach Brian Burke: “One of the problems that threw us off was our passing. Since we didn’t get the passing, it was difficult for the setter to run the plays that we have practicing. The thing we have to do is regroup as we have identified our weakness. Tomorrow in our workout session, we will work on our passing. Because we are young team, we have to motivate them and encourage them. This is just one game, and we need to put this behind them to focus on the next game.”


St. Vincent Captain Cluevvan Cumberbatch: “Today the passing the game was off. We have stick to our regular volleyball and take it one step at a time.”