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Costa Rica outplays St Vincent, improves to 2-0


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA (Sept. 27, 2017) – Costa Rica defeated St. Vincent & the Grenadines 25-10, 25-19, 25-21 on Wednesday during the second day of competition at the 2017 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship being held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Costa Rica’s captain Alberto Blanco led his team with 14 points, including a match-high five aces. Opposite Esteban Araya added 11 kills in the victory.


St. Vincent & the Grenadines was led by outside hitter Asmond Franklyn and opposite Ronaldo Franklyn, who each tallied 11 points in the match.


Costa Rica managed a 7-2 ace advantage to offset St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ 5-2 block margin. Costa Rica had a 37-27 kill advantage and took advantage of 29 errors from their opponent.


Costa Rica (2-0) concludes Pool C on Thursday against Mexico at 7 p.m. MT, while St. Vincent & the Grenadines (0-2) plays Martinique at 5 p.m. MT.


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.


Costa Rica Coach Juan Acuna: “We are very excited to be in this spot. We are emotionally happy because we have not done this in our past history. We need to classify to get to the World Championships next year. Mexico is going to be a challenge for us, but we are go into it with all we got and hopefully we will win.”


Costa Rica Captain Alberto Blanco: “We knew coming into the match with St. Vincent that they had good players, so we had to be tactical. It was good practice in getting ready for Mexico tomorrow. We know Mexico will be difficult, but we are going to give it all we have because you never know what is going to happen during the game.”


St. Vincent Coach Brian Burke: “We identified our errors from yesterday and trained on it this morning. Costa Rica wasn’t jump serving as much as the Mexicans were. But we improved on our reception and our all-around game. The spirit was generally better today in terms of the attitudes toward the game. We showed improved and showed we can compete. We want to thank NORCECA for affording us this opportunity. One of the things we observed is that we were not playing consistency. One of the things we have to work on is our intensity throughout the match. We have been talking about Martinique. We said that this is a must-win situation, like our finals. We can’t leave here empty handed. So we are going to fight, fight and leave everything on the court. Hopefully that can get us a victory.”


St. Vincent Captain Cluevvan Cumberbatch: “In training we decided that we were going to train harder and play Costa Rica hard. We had minor mistakes and errors, which led to us losing. My thoughts on Martinique tomorrow is that we are going to play hard and get a win for everybody back home supporting us, for the coach and everybody who has believed in us.”