Costa Rica Sweeps Barbados

July 06, 2009, 6:42 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 6, 2009) – Costa Rica opened the FIVB World Championship NORCECA Pool G with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-17 victory over Barbados on Monday evening at UCF Arena in Orlando.

Verania Willis paced Costa Rica with a match-high 15 points, while Paola Ramirez Vargas chipped in 10 points in the victory. Angela Willis contributed eight points and Dionisia Thompson was credited with seven points.

Julia Lewis led Barbados with 12 points in the loss, while Shari Matthews charted eight points. Janelle Chase-Mayers and Thonya Joseph each notched five points.

Costa Rica took advantage of 22 errors by Barbados and had a 39-24 kill advantage. Barbados stayed in the match with defense at the net leading to a 9-6 block advantage. Costa Rica held an 8-2 margin in aces.

“It was a pleasure playing Barbados,” Costa Rica captain Verania Willis said. “We came into the match trying to minimize our mistakes, control their best players and play point-by-point. We made some mistakes on serve and serve-receive, so we have some more work to do.”

“I feel very good about the win,” Costa Rica Head Coach Henry Rodriguez said. “We were trying to take advantage of the situation and to control their best players. Also, we wanted to finish each set playing to the best of our abilities.”

“Congratulations to the Costa Rica team on the win,” Barbados Head Coach Andrew Brathwaite said. “I am a little disappointed in how we played.”

“We should have played a lot better than we did,” said Chase-Mayers, the Barbados captain. “We made too many unforced errors to win the match.”

NORCECA Pool G is a third-round qualification tournament into the 2010 FIVB World Championship to be played in November next year in Japan. The Pool G winner advances directly to the FIVB World Championship, while the second-place finisher advances to the NORCECA Playoff round that will fill two additional World Championship vacancies.