Mexico sweeps Costa Rica to secure a spot in Semis and Worlds

POZA RICA, Mexico, November 9, 2023. – Mexico swept Costa Rica 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-15), securing their spot in semifinals of the NORCECA Boys’ U17 Continental Championship and qualifying for the 2024 FIVB World Championship.

Mexico with a perfect 3-0 record in Pool A, secured their spot in Saturday’s semifinals and one of the four berths to the World Championship next year.

Mexico ends the preliminary round against Guatemala in Friday’s second session matches. Costa Rica with 1-1 record will play in Friday’s first session against Honduras (0-3) and Suriname (1-1) in the second session.

Mexico’s powerful 47 to 25 lead in attacks, was the key to dominating Costa Rica; they were also better in points from serves 5-3. Both teams scored 7 blocking points and committed 16 unforced errors.

Mexico celebrates

Mexican Emi Yanixan Díaz led all scorers with 21 points on 18 kills, one block, and two aces. Opposite hitter Ricardo González contributed to the win with 13 points, and outside hitter Sebastián Melesio added 10 points.

Costa Rica’s leading scorer was central player Ángel Monge with 8 points. Costa Rica suffered the loss of middle blocker Deniz Vargas in the first set.

Mexico’s coach, Denis Omar Rivera, said, “We’ve already achieved the goal of qualifying for the World Championship. Now, we need to focus on what’s ahead, finish the tournament well, and aim for a medal. We studied the opponent well statistically, worked on it in the morning, and were able to control Costa Rica, which is a good team. Our attack was decisive”.

Felipe Jenkins, Costa Rica’s coach, stated, “Mexico is a good team. However, when we were gaining momentum, we lost a crucial piece in the team (Deniz Vargas), one of our best players who contributes to both defense and offense. Things didn’t go our way. It’s a great experience, and the players are gaining valuable experience. Tomorrow, we have the opportunity to keep fighting, and the chance to qualify for the World Championship is still on the table”.