Cuba beats Costa Rica to face Mexico for fifth place

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 31, 2024. – Cuba defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-18) in a classification match for positions 5 to 8 in the Girls U17 Pan American Cup being played at Guatemala’s City Dome.  

Cuba will face Mexico on Saturday for fifth place in the tournament. This is the second time they clash; Mexico beat Cuba in pool-play in straight sets.

On the other hand, Costa Rica will play for seventh place against the host team, Guatemala. These two teams also faced each other in pool-play, with Costa Rica winning in four sets.

Cuba outperformed Costa Rica with a powerful attack (43-25) and a 5-2 margin in blocks. Both teams scored five points from direct serves. Cuba conceded more points on unforced errors (24-22).

Salet Castillo CUB

Cuban outside hitter Salet Castillo was the top scorer of the match with 21 points on 18 attacks, two blocks, and one ace. Team captain Yesica Brito added 15 points on14 attacks and one ace.

In the second set, Costa Rica scored five service points that put Cuba in a tough spot, managing to tie the score at 22 points after Lilliam Vargas blocked Yesica Brito with a monster block.

Yesica Brito CUB,

“We lost our momentum in the second set and Costa Rica made things difficult for us”, said Yesica Brito. She added that Cuba showed their attacking power and will do the same against Mexico. “We’ve faced them before, but we’re aiming for a different outcome because we’ve progressed with each match to reach our level of play” Brito added.

Luciana Vargas of Costa Rica, who scored three direct serve points, spoke about the second set, saying, “Costa Rica fought hard until the end, there were some very good points from Cuba, both teams made mistakes, but we never stopped chasing the balls, and in the end, they always kept their heads up”.

Regarding Costa Rica’s final match, middle blocker Heli Moreno said, “I hope we have a good tournament overall (both personally and as a team); I think we can beat Guatemala tomorrow, we already know each other”.