Colombia tops pool B and moves into semifinals

HERMOSILLO, Mexico, August 25, 2022.- Colombia beat Nicaragua 3-0 (25-8, 25-12, 25-12) to  top  pool B and move directly into semifinals of the Women’s Pan American Cup at the Sonora Arena in Hermosillo.

Colombia with a solid 4-0 record in the preliminary round earned their semifinal spot of the competition. Nicaragua, fifth place of pool B will play classification matches for positions 7 to 10 starting with Costa Rica on Friday.

The South Americans controlled the Central Americans in every skill of the game, attacks (37-22), blocks (14-2) and serves (12-0). In errors, Colombia committed 8 and Nicaragua 12.

Middle blocker Melissa Rangel scored 12 points as Colombia’s top scorer, from 9 kills, 2 blocks and one ace, joined by outside hitter Ana Karina Olaya with 11 points from 7 kills and a match-high of 4 aces; outside hitter Laura Grajales added 9 points.

Opposite hitter Hellen Traña collected 11 points for Nicaragua, on 10 kills and one block.

Melissa Rangel of Colombia attacks against Nicaragua

Melissa Rangel, top scorer of Colombia: “Our main goal was to qualify to the semifinals, today the coach made some line-up variations because it was a quieter match than the previous ones, seeking that everyone should fulfill their job and always have the score in our favor. Colombia’s firm pace is because of our work, preparing for Worlds and having clear goals. We have a strengthened team, we showed it on the court, and we will play hard whoever we play against”.

Swan Mendoza, outside hitter of Nicaragua: “We came into the competition aware of facing the best teams of America, strong teams and with much height than ours, with the idea of performing our work and preparing for future competitions. Tomorrow, we face Costa Rica, we already have our strategy and I believe that our previous matches served us to prepare for a Central American derby, we will follow the instructions of our coach”.