Mexico downs Chile to win bronze at U21 Pan Am Cup

LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 12, 2022.- Mexico downed Chile 3-0 (26-24, 25-11, 25-19) to win the bronze medal of the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup on Saturday at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.

Mexico snatched the first set from Chile, recovering from a four-point deficit 20-24 in a dramatic 26-24 finish and onward to dominate the next two sets. Mexico also beat Chile with a sweep in pool-play.

Besides winning bronze, Mexico qualified to the 2023 FIVB World Championship. The hosts finished third place with a 3-2 record; this is their second medal in the history of the event, they reached the podium winning gold in 2013. Chile in fourth place ends with 2-3 record.

Mexico held a 44-33 advantage in attacks and an overwhelming 10-2 margin in serves; both teams scored 6 points from blocks. Mexico limited their errors to 13 and scored on 16 points from Chilean errors.

Cantu Sara, Topete Aime blocks MEX – Schwartzman Petra spike CHI

Mexican team captain Aime Topete scored a match-high of 23 points on 19 kills, one block and three aces. The other player with double-figures was opposite hitter Katherine Cruz with 11 points on 7 kills, two points on blocks and two on serves.

Opposite hitter Petra Schwarzman led Chile with 15 points on 13 kills and two blocks.

Luis León, Head Coach of Mexico: “Both teams had their energy low after losing semifinals. This was our fifth match against Chile, we had three friendly matches and two here in the tournament, we know each other well, statistically, tendencies and trajectories, that’s why the first set was so close and that blew Chile away. We closed the competition well, we reached our goals, qualifying to worlds and reaching the podium”.

Aime Topete, Captain of Mexico: “We were focused in the first set, following our technical staff instructions and we gave our all. I believe that with more energy we can win the gold medal in next tournaments, we have the potential to do so. Now we must work and prepare for worlds”.