Puerto Rico Grabs World Championship Bid with Win over Mexico

TULSA, Oklahoma, USA, July 21, 2022 – Puerto Rico came back from a first-set loss to beat Mexico 3-1 (20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-21) on Thursday at the Girls U19 Pan American Cup at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa.

The win qualified Puerto Rico (2-2) for one of the four spots available to NORCECA teams for the 2023 FIVB World Championship. The team will move on to play in Friday’s semifinals. Mexico (2-2) will move to the fifth-place bracket.

Puerto Rico led Mexico in attacks (55-50) and aces (6-4). Mexico led in blocks (11-7). Puerto Rico scored 29 points on Mexico’s errors and gave up 26.

Puerto Rico opposite Grace Lopez led all scorers with 25 points on a match-high 21 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Destiny Skerrett scored 19 points on 18 kills and one block. Middle blocker Yarianis Suarez had a match-high four blocks for Puerto Rico.

Mexico was led by outside hitter Ximena Cordero who had 17 points on 16 spike and one block.

Match action Puerto Rico against Mexico

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, coach of Puerto Rico: “Very happy with this victory. The girls were very anxious in the first set. We asked them to calm down and they did it. Our game improved in the following sets. The serves, the attacks down the corners and defense were good. We are very happy with this qualification to the world championship.”

Luis Bañuelos, coach of Mexico: “Very sad because we lost this match. We started playing well but then we committed too many errors that affected our chances. We still have two more matches to play and hopefully we will do better.”