Mexico reach Semifinals winning a five-set thriller to Argentina

HERMOSILLO, Mexico, July 20, 2023.- Mexico won Pool B and the ticket to semifinals winning a five-set thriller to Argentina 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 27-25, 11-25, 15-12) at the sixth edition of the U23 Women’s Pan American Cup in Hermosillo.

México was confident in the first set and Argentina responded winning the second. Argentina reached set point in the third, but Sofia Maldonado’s attacks, who went on to be the leading scorer of the match (28pts) pushed Mexico on top again. Argentina overwhelmed Mexico in the fourth leading 18-6 and closing with a huge 14 point advantage (25-11) . México took the tie-break with María Ximena Cruz serves were decisive.

Argentina led in kills 59-51, in blocks 9-6 and in points from serves 8-6, but their 36 errors against 26 from Mexico made the difference.

Mexico celebrates against Argentina

The leading scorer of the match, Sofía Maldonado scored 28 points from 25 powerful kills, two blocks and two aces. María Ximena Cruz added 14 points on 8 kills, three blocks and three aces.

Constanza Pérez led Argentina with 25 points on 18 kills, the most blocks with 5 and two aces. She was joined by Dalma Pérez with 16 and Milena Margaria with 16.

Luis Alberto León, coach of Mexico: “We had a bad fourth set, we made changes and they didn’t go well. Argentina defended everything. In the fifth set the key element of sealing the win was our serves and a play we hadn’t executed was the surprise element as well”.

Martín Ambrosini, coach of Argentina: “In general the match was balanced; we had troubles in the first set because the girls were too anxious, and Mexico plays well. We started the fourth set very well, and they had difficulties”.