Mexico captures FIVB U18 slot and NORCECA bronze 


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 29, 2014.- Mexico captured the Girls’ FIVB U18 World Championship berth defeating Puerto Rico 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 19-25, 25-19) in the Bronze medal match of the Girls’ U18 NORCECA Continental Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica.


It was a thriller with both teams battling hard for the last ticket available in the tournament for the FIVB age-group Championship. Mexicans had difficulties to seal the win in three sets as Puerto Rico seemed more focused. Mexico repeated last editions’ bronze medal.


Puerto Rico was superior in attacks 44-40, service points 6-5 and they held a wide advantage in blocking by 12-6, but couldn’t make up for their 44 errors against only 26 by Mexico.


Opposite Kathya Garcia led Mexico with 19 points, via 17 kills and 2 blocks. Also for the winning cause, Daniela Mireles contributed 15 points, including 11 kills and 4 aces. Puerto Rico had three players with double figures, Paola Salas with 18 points Alejandra Negron with 16 points and Solaymee Benitez with 11 points.


With tears of joy, Francia Sanchez said: “We never gave up; we followed our coaches’ instructions and tried to stay focused, which we didn’t manage well in the third set. Puerto Rico is a spectacular opponent and I hope they can qualify to the world championship in other tournament. I congratulate my team for always being warriors”.


“I congratulate Mexico they won it fair and square. As for my team, we battled hard every single point and we thought our comeback in the third set would extend longer” said Puerto Rico’s Captain Alejandra Negron.


Mexico’s Coach Ricardo Naranjo said: “Our strategy worked well, we played with intelligence and mentally prepared for Puerto Rico’s resistance. Puerto Rico played with a lot of character but we controlled them with offensive serves and counterattacking”.


Puerto Rico’s Coach Javier Cruz said: “The players need to have this kind of competitions more often, they are not used to the pressure and it reflects in our continuous errors. The team is young and emotions tend to get in their way instead of executing the game plan”.