Peru To Battle for U17 Pan American Gold against Puerto Rico

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 31, 2024. – Peru secured its ticket to the gold medal match of the first edition of the Girls U17 Pan American Cup against Puerto Rico after defeating Venezuela 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 25-23 and 25-16) on Friday night in Guatemala City.

Peru advances to the gold medal match with an undefeated record of 4-0, with 12 sets won and 3 lost.

Venezuela will compete for the bronze medal against the Dominican Republic.

Brenda Quiroz PER

 In an exciting semifinal match, Peru recovered from losing the first set to claim the win, leading 58 to 40 in attack points, 11 to 10 in blocks, and 8 to 3 in service points. Peru gave away 36 points from errors and scored 24 points on Venezuela’s errors.

Peruvian middle blocker Camila Monge scored a match-high of 23 points on 17 attacks, 4 blocks, and 3 aces. Outside hitter Brenda Quiroz, who came off the bench in the first set, contributed 15 points, all on kills. Outside hitter Paola Moreano, who entered as a substitution  in the first set, added 14 points on 8 attacks, 4 blocks, and 2 aces.

Venezuelan outside hitter and team captain Gabriela Noguera was her team’s top scorer with 17 points on15 attacks and 2 blocks. Fiorellys Utrera scored 14 points on 13 attacks and one  ace.

Gabriela Noguera VEN

Venezuela took two set points from Peru in the first set and then lost one before winning the set in a dramatic finish with a block by opposite hitter Valeria Ochoa. Peru recovered, winning the second set, which was tied at 20 points, ending with an attack point from Paola Moreano. Camila Monge with a block and Brenda Quiroz with a kill closed out the third set for Peru. In the fourth set, Peru managed to get Venezuela off their system of play, jumping to a huge lead  (11-5) from the beginning.

Brazilian Antonio Rizola, coach of Peru, said that the first set was very contested and very important because it showed that his team has a great capacity for comeback, “I took the two main attackers (the captain and the other outside hitter) out of the game, and those who came off the bench responded, and with them, we won the next three sets”. He also added, “it’s a great joy because the group is still developing, and reaching the final of a Cup like this is wonderful”.

Willian Ruiz, head coach of Venezuela, stated, “Peru adjusted in the second set, and we loosened up technically, in simple things”. Regarding what happened next, he said that Peru strengthened their defense, “I think part of Peru’s victory is that they never missed the opportunity to save a ball, which gave them an edge. They have very good reception”.  He also explained that he is achieving a significant goal of returning to international competition by being among the top four teams.