Mexico reaches semifinals in dramatic five set win over Canada
JUANA DIAZ, Puerto Rico, May 12, 2023.-
Mexico reached the semifinals with a dramatic five-set quarterfinal win
over Canada 3-2 (23-25, 25-17, 29-27, 23-25, 15-12) at the U19 Girls’
NORCECA Pan American Cup on Friday in Puerto Rico.
Mexico will face host Puerto Rico in Saturday’s semifinal while Canada
will play for places five to eight.
Mexico and Canada put up a great performance, in a roller coaster
battle. In the third set, first Canada missed two set points and then
Mexico, in the highest-scoring set of the tournament so far. Mexico
recovered from a seven-point deficit (9-16) before falling in the
fourth, which forced the tie-break finish.
Canada lost to Mexico despite leading 62-52 in attacks and ending with a
huge 20-12 margin in blocks but handing out 47 points from errors
against 23. Mexico did better in serves 4-1.
Three players scored double digits for Mexico, Aime Topete led with 15
points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace, Luz Solano and Ximena
Cordero added 14 points each; Solano (9 kills, 5 blocks) and Cordero
(11 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace).
Canada’s team captain Taylor De Boer set a new scoring record in the
event of 33 points, from 25 kills and 8 blocks. Trinity Shadd-Ceres
contributed with 16 points on 11 kills and 5 blocks.
Luz Solano, opposite of Mexico:
“It’s exciting because it’s what we’ve all been working for and it
showed on the court, our enthusiasm, communication, and the desire to
keep on battling up to the end. For me, the ups and downs during the
match were my nerves of what the game meant”.
Luis Bañuelos, coach of Mexico:
“Canada was a great opponent and knew how to take advantage of the
opportunities. The positive of the game is the energy of my team, they
never dropped their arms and kept on battling. To move into the gold
medal match I believe the team needs to focus better on following
instructions, in the strategy and the tactical changes. We are going to
help them to focus better”.
Taylor De Boer, captain of Canada:
“Definitely a tough loss on this one. We all went out with aggression
and I really think we fought through it, as well as Mexico; it was a
good fight. We have more to give than we let out some moments, but we
should be proud of ourselves. We’re still in a warrior mindset, going
with whoever we play”.