GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, March 16, 2023.- Mexico secured their place in the NORCECA U19 Boys Pan American Cup semifinals defeating Nicaragua 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-15) in the quarterfinals on Friday in Guatemala.
Mexico maintained comfortable leads in the first and third sets, but they struggled to recover from a four-point deficit (4-8) in the second while Nicaragua largely improved with a faster game.
Mexico prevailed 35-19 in kills, 9-4 in blocks and 4-1 in serves, while committing 24 unforced errors against 27 from Nicaragua.
The only player with double digits was Mexican outside hitter Ines Vargas with 12 points on 10 kills and two points on serves. Also contributing to the win were opposite hitter Julio Serrano and outside hitter Victor Miranda with 7 and 6 points respectively.
Middle blocker Edu Urbina led Nicaragua with 8 points all on kills.
Alfredo Vazquez, libero of Mexico: “We were overconfident in the second set after a strong first set, it wasn’t our usual performance, there were confusions and technical errors on our side. We are closer to the goal of reaching the final and winning the tournament.
Oscar Viña, head coach of Mexico: “I made several variations in the second set because I need to know how my bench players perform, I made five changes; I saw the opportunity to do it now thinking that our next matches will be more demanding. I was part of the errors; I take the learning”.
Jorge Mena head coach of Nicaragua: “The loss against Guatemala discouraged the team and today it was a dull game. Our goal now is to beat all our opponents and to finish in fifth place, which isn’t a bad position for us in the tournament”.