LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 11, 2022.- Argentina beat Mexico 3-1 (26-24, 27-25, 28-30, 25-7) in Saturday’s semifinals to reach the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup final match at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.
Argentina was challenged by a resistant home team up to the third set, when Mexico needed five-set points to keep their hopes alive. Argentina entirely dominated Mexico in the fourth set, leaving no doubt in their stunning finish.
Argentina faces the United States for the gold, they met earlier in pool-play play with the U.S. winning 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 27-25) to advance directly into semifinals to beat Chile. This will also be a rematch of the 2017 gold medal match won by the Americans. Argentina also fell in 2015 to Dominican Republic.
On the other hand, Mexico and Chile will battle for the bronze medal. This is the second occasion they meet for third place; Chile took the bronze in 2015. Mexico won the event in 2013 to Dominican Republic.
Argentina led 61-54 in attacks and prevailed by a huge margin in blocks (16-4) and aces (11-4); Mexico was the one with fewer errors (18-24).
Outside hitter Milena Margaria of Argentina scored a match-high of 20 points on 17 kills and three blocks. Middle blocker Avril Garcia and outside hitter Keila Llanos joined the party of points with 19 each; Garcia scoring the most blocks with a total of 7 points.
Outside hitter and team captain Aime Topete led Mexico with 16 points on 15 kills and one ace, followed by opposite hitter Katherine Ramirez with 14 points on 13 kills and one block. Outside hitter Alexandra Goris also contributed with 10 points.
Marcelo Silva, Head Coach of Argentina: “The first three sets were tremendous, it was very close, Mexico defended a lot, maybe they were tired in the last set, I never thought we could have won the fourth set with such a large margin. Now we need our girls to recover and study the United States to decide our game plan”.
Luis León, Head Coach of Mexico: “The first three sets could have gone to either one, they were very close. I believe the difference was Argentina’s level of play in the tournament, with more matches, with rhythm together (two matches more than us). Tomorrow we are going out to win third place”.