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USA survive big test against Puerto Rico


CAÑETE, Peru, June 19, 2017 – An intense volleyball battle took place at Lolo Fernandez Coliseum when the United States claimed a 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12) victory over Puerto Rico carried by opposite Elizabeth McMahon who finished with 27 points.


The scoring was tight from start to finish and while United States pressed with a varied offense thanks to the contributions from middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan and Michele Bartsch-Hackley with 14 and 13 points, Puerto Rico was aggressive with their attackers Daly Santana, Marie Victoria and Ana Sofía Jusino with 26, 19 and 11 points, respectively.


Micha Hancock, Captain of United States: “Making so many points with my serves is a challenge that grows bigger for me because my team is counting on me to do that, but with every new day I have to face teams with better reception. In the game we battled well but we need to improve some little things. We are missing some easy balls.”


Daly Santana, top scorer of Puerto Rico: “At the beginning our attack was soft so we learned that we had to be more aggressive and had to improve our defense with touches in the blocking to slow down their attack and reach the fifth set. We will go happy because despite the loss we learned many things.”


Karch Kiraly, Coach of United States: “The opponent played very well and it was a big challenge for us because we have a young group which is learning how to move forward in tough matches. The most important lesson learned today is that we need to communicate more when we are in the court.”


Javier Gaspar, Coach of Puerto Rico: “Our game plan was until certain point an effective one. But then we made some changes that worked well like the use of middle blocker Alba Hernandez and also our serves was more effective pressing their reception. At the end one mistake in the last few minutes was the key for them to carry with the win.”