NORCECA PAN-AMERICAN CUP 2017
· June 15-25, 2017
· Lima, Peru
· Stats through June 24th
Bronze Medal match
Puerto Rico, 3, Peru 1 (25-22, 13-25, 27-25, 25-15)
Puerto Rico earned its third Pan Am Cup medal in the last four years, following up its 2016 silver with this year’s bronze. The Puerto Ricans also won bronze in 2014 and 2009.
Puerto Rico overcame its 31 errors in the match, but winning or tying all other statistical categories. The Puerto Ricans outdid Peru offensively (63 kills to 50), outblocked them 6-3 and managed three aces alongside their foes.
“I think that today we committed many errors,” Puerto Rican coach Javier Gaspar said. “In the second set Peru took us out of the court and in the third, despite winning it, we made too many mistakes. That’s something we need to fix out. In the fourth set our confidence was bigger and Peru had their energy down so we took advantage of that. Now we go back home to prepare for the Grand Prix, and the first weekend we will play here with a new team including outside hitters Karina Ocasio and Stephanie Enright, but we are not in a position to say it will be an easy game.”
Daly Santana managed 23 points to lead the Puerto Rican charge and had help from three other double-digit scorers in Shirley Ferrer (14), Ana Jusino (14) and Pilar Marie Victoria (10). Santana tallied 21 kills, a block and an ace. Ferrer added 12 kills, while Jusino added a match-best three blocks.
“It was a very tough match,” Santana said. “Peru is a team with a lot of power who plays very well. For us the competition was very important because we are very young players and helped us to adjust better. To win the bronze medal is an important result that motivates us to continue working and improving.”
Angela Leyva racked up a match-high 24 points for Peru. Jessenia Uceda chipped in 12 points. Leyva downed 21 kills and added two blocks, while Uceda put away 12 kills.
“I feel very sad because the team went down and we couldn’t approach the game the correct way,” Peruvian captain Mirtha Uribe said. “Our coach insisted in keeping the concentration, but the last of focus and so many ups and downs didn’t allow us to play the way we should. Puerto Rico started to attack from every angle and to play a lot against our blocking which gave them calm to score in their favor.”