JUANA DIAZ, Puerto Rico, May 14, 2023.- United States claimed their second consecutive gold medal defeating Mexico 3-0 (25-8, 25-18, 25-18) at the Girls U19 NORCECA Pan American Cup at Dolores Martinez Coliseum in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico.
United States finished first place undefeated (5-0) and Mexico in second place (4-2). Last year the U.S. won the gold medal at home defeating Brazil.
The American team dominated 40-18 in attacks and 10-1 in serves, they also held a comfortable 8-2 margin in blocks, but handed out more points from unforced errors 23-17.
Middle blocker Elizabeth Andrew scored 13 points for the United States, on 5 attacks, 3 blocks and a match-high of 5 aces. Outside hitter Blaire Bayless also contributed in the win with 10 points on 7 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces.
Mexico was led by Aime Topete with 7 points.
Julia Blyashov, captain of United States: “We brought it today; Mexico is a wonderful team, but we gave it our all. Each game we kept getting better and feeling more together. For me it’s my second gold medal in a row and it’s an honor to repeat this. We are excited to bring home the gold medal”.
Keegan Cook, coach of United States: “I am so impressed by what Mexico did during bracket play, so we expected a battle. We just wanted to play close to our best, which we did in the first set, starting off strong. I am thankful to see these wonderful athletes perform at this level”.
Luis Bañuelos, coach of Mexico: “USA’s margin of error is minimum, they attack over our blocking, and they are a more physical team than ours. This kind of competition allows us to prepare for other international events like the world championship which is close to happen.