Puerto Rico moves into Semifinals undefeated

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, November 23, 2023. – Puerto Rico advanced undefeated to semifinals after beating Honduras 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-15) in the first edition of the NORCECA Girls’ U17  Championship on Thursday at the Jorge Galeano Gymnasium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Puerto Rico won Pool A and earned a direct ticket to Saturday’s semifinals. Mexico (2-1) and Nicaragua (1-2) will compete in the quarterfinals on Friday against the Dominican Republic and Cuba, respectively.

Honduras, fourth place in Pool A, will play for positions 5 to 8.

The top three places in the event qualify for the 2024 FIVB World Championship.

Puerto Rico finished with a 40-13 advantage in attacks and 11-3 in service points. Honduras controlled the blocking category 4-2. Puerto Rico capitalized on 22 points from Honduras’ errors and committed 18.

Kalia Alvarado PUR

Outside hitters Sara Lozano and Kalia Alvarado led Puerto Rico’s offense with 11 points each. Setter Natashja Soto scored a match-high of 5 aces.

Middle blocker Lila Madrid was Honduras’ top attacker with 7 points.

Carla Mercado, libero of Puerto Rico said, “We kept our composure, controlled the ball well, and were able to manage the game. We worked more through the middle, and the reserve players did a great job, preparing us for what’s coming in the tournament. We took the opportunity to practice things to be ready for the semifinal”.

Lila Madrid, the best attacker of Honduras, expressed, “It was a very tough game; Puerto Rico is a well-prepared team. My team gave everything and did their best on the court. I feel our defense was very good; we blocked, attacked, and celebrated every point with all our hearts”.