Hosts Peru Beat Argentina to Represent South America in Pan Am Semis

  0 Braden Keith | June 24th, 2017 | International Volleyball, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball, U.S. Women's Volleyball

NORCECA Pan-American Cup 2017

The host team from Peru beat Argentina 3-2 to keep South American hope alive in the 2017 edition of the NORCECA Women’s Pan-American Volleyball Cup on Friday. They advance to play Pool A winners the United States in the semi-finals (who advanced straight through thanks to their win in the group stage).

In the other half of the bracket, Puerto Rico beat Cuba 3-0 to advance to play Pool B winner Dominican Republic. That makes 4 NORCECA teams in the semi-finals of the historically NORCECA-heavy tournament

Peru def. Argentina 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 15-9)

Peru and Argentina traded sets early, but Peru was able to win the 5th tiebreaking frame to take the win and advance to play the undefeated Americans in the semi-finals. A full house of 2,500 spectators was in attendance to see the home team’s victory, and they were led by 26 points from their star outside hitter Angela Leyva.

That scoring output ties her as the second-best single-game performance of the tournament so far and made her the top scorer of Friday’s action.

Argentina out-blocked Peru 12-7, including 7 from Natalia Aispurua individually that is the best single-game performance off the tournament so far. Peru closed that gap thanks to a 7-2 margin in aces, led by 3 from Carla Rueda – part of 14 points total for the veteran in support of Leyva.

“I am very happy because we defeated a great team with high competition level at international tournaments,” said Peruvian coach Luizomar de Moura. “For my team the outcome is very important and I hope they continue growing and not resting in the victory. We have to keep working hard, because we made many mistakes in the match, but I am happy for the attitude they showed today.”

Peru gave away 29 points on errors in the match, which is easily their most in the tournament so far, in spite of the win.

“We knew it was going to be a close match against Peru point by point even more with them as the hosts,” Argentina coach Guillermo Odruna said post-match. “Right now we are in the time to change players ahead of the Olympic cycle, but more than the result I see the positive side and capitalize on the job done by each one of them.”

Puerto Rico def. Cuba 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-17)

Courtesy: NORCECA

Cuba carried a short bench into Friday’s quarterfinal math, using 10 of their 11 players available, and after fighting to close 1st and 2nd sets, succumbed tot he deeper Puerto Ricans in the 3rd for a 3-set sweep.

Outside hitters Daly Santana and Pilar Marie Victoria led the winners with 20 and 10, respectively, in the match. For Santana, that came on a 56.67% hitting success rate and a .500 hitting efficiency rate (17 kills, 2 errors, 30 swings).

Defense was the difference though. While Puerto Rico’s overall hitting rate of 46% was not very high, and while they were out-blocked by the long Cubans 8-7, Puerto Rico held Cuba to just a 29.70% success rate on the match on a mere 55 attempts.

“We lacked rhythm at the start of the match but later on with more concentration and following the technical instructions from the coach we were able to climb back to win the third set without any difficulties,” said Puerto Rican captain Natalia Valentin.

Heidy Casanova had 37 of those 55 attempts (over 67% of her team’s swings), and came away with just 10 kills in the match. But Cuba is looking ahead toward the future with this tournament, including the NORCECA Championships later this summer that will determine World Championship qualifying.

“First of all I want to congratulate the great job done by Puerto Rico to reach the semifinals,” said Wilfredo Robinson, coach of Cuba. “From our side. I just say we complied with our objective of preparing this young team for future competitions. We have five players from the U20 team and I believe in the long term work we are doing.”




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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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