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Martinique Rallies Past Costa Rica for 7th Place


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA (Oct. 1, 2017) – Martinique concluded its first-ever NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship on a winning note by defeating Costa Rica 10-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 15-12 on Sunday afternoon in the seventh-place match.


Martinique’s Rodrigue Larcher scored a team-best 19 points including four blocks. Gregory Alpha added 18 points and Joann Breleur chipped in 14 points.


Costa Rica’s Alberto Blanco scored a match-high 22 points including four aces and three blocks in the losing effort. Esteban Araya added 12 points and Fabian Estrada followed with 11 points.


Costa Rica held edges in blocks (15-14) and kills (53-49) as both teams had six aces. Martinique was outscored 105-99 in the match, mainly due to the lopsided first set in which normal starting setter Loris Christine did not play but returned to the court in the second through fifth sets.


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.


Martinique Coach Eddy Erialc: “It was a very good experience for us. Our players are not used to playing in a tournament at this level. It was a good experience for us. Me and half of the team will retire. So we will leave space for new players, and we have some good young players coming up.”


Martinique Captain David Lefaivre: “We are very happy because we didn’t expect to win. We lost the first match with Costa Rica 3-0. We are really happy that we could win this match. Some players will now retire, so we will have some new players and they will continue with the game.”


Costa Rica Coach Juan Acuna: “First of all, the players were tired and the mental factor. That, couple with our rival playing better, is the reasons for the loss.”


Costa Rica Captain Alberto Blanco: “The last three matches, we started playing very good volleyball. Then we lost concentrated today and affected the match results.”