Costa Rica Off to a Good Start at U17 Pan Am Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 27, 2024.- Costa Rica started the first edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup defeating Guatemala 3-1 (25-12, 25-13, 23-25, 28-26) on Monday night at the Multi-sports Dome in Guatemala City.

On the second day of the event, Costa Rica (1-0) in Group B will face Puerto Rico (1-0), while Guatemala (0-1) will play against Venezuela (0-1).

Costa Rica had no difficulties winning the first two sets comfortably. Guatemala forced a fourth set after a remarkable 8-point comeback (15-23) in the third. Costa Rica earned a dramatic win after losing two match points on a service error and a powerful attack by Guatemalan Andrea Garces, who later handed the victory to Costa Rica with an attack error.

Costa Rica led in attack points 51-33 and in service points 9-5. Guatemala outperformed in blocking 12-6. Costa Rica had fewer errors 26-35.

Costa Rica celebrate

Michelle Arias led the scores with 22 points on 16 attacks, 2 blocks, and a match-high of 4 direct serving points. Nicole Leiva added 16 points on 15 attacks and one ace. Opposite player Amanda Campos scored 12 points.

Opposite Melissa Guerra was the only one to score double digits for Guatemala with 12 points.

Lilliam Vargas, captain of Costa Rica, said, “we were determined, it was very intense and hard-fought.” Regarding the difference in the set results, she added, “I feel that losing the third set affected us mentally and gave Guatemala more confidence; tomorrow we will play well, with determination, and we will give our all on the court.”

“We improved as the match developed; we were quite nervous, and it was a slow start”, said Regina Porres, captain of Guatemala. She also expressed that they managed to demonstrate what they have practiced and that they are in good condition, “we fought hard, but unfortunately, we didn’t get the result.”