Mexico wins dramatic five-setter to advance to semifinals

HERMOSILLO, Mexico, August 26, 2022.- Mexico won a dramatic quarterfinal five setter over Puerto Rico 3-2 (25-17, 25-19, 18-25, 20-25, 15-12) to advance into semifinals of the 19th Women’s Pan American Cup at the Sonora Arena of Hermosillo.

Host Mexico will face the Dominican Republic in semifinals and Puerto Rico will play for fifth place against Cuba. In the other semifinal, the United States goes up against Colombia.

Puerto Rico’s big comeback in the third set took Mexico by surprise, struggling to get back on track only to extend the match to a decisive fifth set.

Mexico overcame Puerto Rico with a consistent 67-49 advantage in attacks and a 4-3 margin in aces. Puerto Rico controlled 13-7 from blocking points and committed fewer errors (25-33).

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Mexican players gather to celebrate their victory over Puerto Rico

Middle blocker Jocelyn Urias topped Mexico with 20 points on 16 kills, three blocks and one ace. Also contributing to Mexico’s victory were outside hitters Aime Topete and Samantha Bricio with 18 and 13 points respectively.

Opposite Genesis Collazo led Puerto Rico’s attackers with 20 points on 16 kills and 4 blocks, followed by outside hitters Genesis Miranda and Pilar Victoria with 17 and 15 points respectively. 

Cecilia Rios, outside hitter of Mexico: “It was a dramatic victory, but we reached our goal, the team is happy. The support of our fans was valuable for Mexico to be in the semifinal. Our team work was crucial, we are a family and our mentality has been in evolution, we are coming from less to more, hoping for a good result tomorrow”.

Hector Soto, head coach of Puerto Rico: “As a team it doesn’t matter being behind because there is always a chance for the match to continue in our favor, until the last point of the game. I am proud of how the girls battled in a hostile atmosphere; they were cold and showed what it is to represent Puerto Rico with everything”.