Puerto Rico downs Mexico in straight sets to start NORCECA Girls’ U17

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, November 21, 2023. – Puerto Rico defeated Mexico in straight sets 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-19) to start the first NORCECA Girls’ U17 Continental Championship at the Jorge Galeano Gymnasium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The top three teams in the tournament will earn a spot to the 2024 FIVB World Championship.

Puerto Rico (1-0) will face Nicaragua on Wednesday, while Mexico (0-1) will play against the host team, Honduras.

Puerto Rico earned its first victory in Group A coming from behind (11-15) in the first set and dominating Mexico in the next two, despite Mexico’s efforts to extend the match.

Puerto Rico finished with a lead of 44 to 38 in attacking points, 7 to 4 in blocking points, and 5 to 2 in points from serves. Both teams committed 20 unforced errors.

Puerto Rico celebrates

The top scorer of the match was Puerto Rican Diangelie González with 21 points on 18 attacks, one block, and two aces. Outside hitter Sara Lozano ended with a record of 14 points on 13 attacks and one ace. Team Captain Kalia Alvarado contributed 11 points on 10 attacks and one ace.

Mexico’s captain, Aitana Tanguma, scored 15 points on 14 attacks and one ace, accompanied by middle blocker Brenda Esquivel with 11 points on 10 attacks and one block.

“We recovered from being behind in the first set by improving concentration, communication, and passing. We also gained confidence. It feels great to represent the country and secure a first victory”, said Puerto Rico’s captain, Kalia Alvarado.

“I know we have the team to have won the match. Confidence failed us a bit; confidence in the teammate beside us. We will bounce back because we have the goal of winning the gold medal”, said Mexico’s captain, Aitana Tanguma.