HAVANA, Cuba, October 7, 2022.- Chile beat Nicaragua 3-1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-18) and will on Saturday will play for fifth place against Dominican Republic who beat Haiti 3-0, also on the penultimate day of the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva.
After losing the first set, the South Americans adjusted their actions to succeed with advantages in attacks (49-36), blocks (9-5) and serves (8-4), and committing one more unforced error (30-29).
Its best men at the offense were opposite hitter Antar Derpich (16), leading scorer in the match, and outside hitters Rafael Fuentes (14) and Leonardo Menéndez (12). For the Central Americans, with double figures was opposite hitter Víctor Ariel Cruz (13) and outside hitter Denis Espinoza (11).
Iván Villarreal, head coach of Chile said “it’s always good to win under any circumstance, what’s ideal is to play well, win 3-0 and make it all a whole, but the game is very stable and emotional. These boys played yesterday two matches against two top teams Canada and Cuba, and that hurts a lot physically and mentally”.
“Today we faced an opponent who apparently could have been adorable, but they gave us a hard time in the beginning in our stability and lack of focus in a performance that needs to be more stable, and that is what we are looking for in these tournaments, give support to our players for their development and solid play”.
Captain Rafael Fuentes argued that “we had a rough time to start, I think it’s something that can happen, nevertheless we pulled the four sets. Our energy was low at the beginning, and we helped the opponent grow, but this game is over, we reached our goal of winning and now we need to think in tomorrow’s match against Dominican Republic”.
Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua, considered “our problem has been our height, and in the tournament the serves. Every time our opponents serve, they put us in trouble, they aren’t used to this kind of serves and the height of the players damages us. The first set was interesting. We lost, but we still are in the battle, we face Haiti once again and despite they won in pool-play, we are going to fight for not finishing last”.
Outside hitter Denis Espinoza said “it was a very difficult match, but it will help us a lot to grow as players and in the court with a good attitude and learn to follow our coach. It damaged us so much that our reception failed, and we couldn’t close well with attacks”.