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Mexico defeated Costa Rica


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA (Sept. 28, 2017) – Mexico defeated Costa Rica 25-19, 25-16, 25-10 on Thursday in a battle of undefeated teams to conclude the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship pool play in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Mexico (3-0) was sparked by Jorge Barajas’ 14 points from his outside hitter position, including six aces and three blocks. Opposite Daniel Vargas added 14 points in the victory. With the victory, Mexico not only won pool C but also gained a berth directly into Saturday’s semifinal round with the best point ratio.


Costa Rica (2-1) was led by its captain Alberto Blanco, who contributed eight points. Three other Costa Ricans scored points during the match, but none with more than four points.


Mexico served 13 aces in the match and did not allow Costa Rica to serve a single ace. The Mexicans also tallied a 11-3 block advantage and a 34-15 kill margin in the victory.


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: “In the first set we had some mistakes, but then in the second set we improved the serve and improved our other tactics.”


Mexico Captain Pedro Rangel: “This match was more difficult for us. We thought they were a little more weak, but it was a good match on their part. It was one that we used for the opportunity to go directly to the semifinals. We didn’t play very well.”


Costa Rica Coach Juan Acuna: “We trained for the whole year for this, but today was a very difficult match for us against Mexico. The Mexican team was better than us in some aspects, but we managed to do some tactical things that we planned. We hope to improve, and I think this team can do better because they train very hard.”


Costa Rica Captain Alberto Blanco: “We got the second place with the first two victories, but today we wanted to play better. Mexico had a better block in the second set and a better serve in the third set. We want to improve on our reception, and if we have to deal with the tall block like today, we need to improve on that to hit off the hands.”