Puerto Rico earns Second Win at U17 Pan American Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 28, 2024.- Puerto Rico defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-18) for their second win at the Girls U17 Pan American Cup being held in Guatemala City.

Puerto Rico remains undefeated with a 2-0 record in Pool B, while Costa Rica has a 1-1 record. On Wednesday, Puerto Rico will conclude pool-play against Guatemala, and Costa Rica will face Venezuela.

Puerto Rico recovered from a four-point deficit (11-15) in the second set, and then the lead  went to both sides; they won the set with an opponent error. In the third set, with Puerto Rico leading 21-14, Costa Rica scored four consecutive points from attacks by Amanda Campos and opponent errors, reaching 21-18. Puerto Rico closed the set with a Costa Rican error and two points from Diangelie Gonzalez, who only played the third set.

Sara Lozano PUR, attacks

Puerto Rico controlled all the game statistically, 38-30 in attacks, 9-3 in blocks, and 4-3 in aces. Additionally, Puerto Rico committed fewer unforced errors (21-24).

Outside hitters Sara Lozano and Annalee Champion scored 13 points each for Puerto Rico. Lozano on 11 attacks, one block, and one ace; Champion on 10 attacks, two blocks, and one service point.

Opposite hitter Amanda Campos and outside hitter Nicole Leiva led Costa Rica with 8 points each.

Nicole Leiva CRC, defense

“Costa Rica attacked us a lot with serves in the second set,” said Puerto Rico’s Sara Lozano. “We were able to save the set with communication and teamwork,” she added. Lozano believes that the team’s unity and trust in their coach are Puerto Rico’s greatest strengths. Regarding the last match of pool-play, she said, “we will do our best and go all out from the beginning”.

Amanda Campos from Costa Rica said, “we were able to control most of the second set, but I think we don’t know how to stay calm in moments of crisis. Today’s game was faster and more demanding than yesterday’s”. Regarding the end of the preliminary round, she said, “we don’t see it impossible; Venezuela is taller than us, but we are motivated because last year at the NORCECA we defeated Cuba, so we believe in ourselves”.