Puerto Rico Stops Guatemala

June 26, 2009, 4:59 p.m. (ET)

MIAMI, Fla. (June 26, 2009) – Puerto Rico opened the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup with a convincing 25-9, 25-15, 25-18 victory over Guatemala on Friday afternoon at University of Miami’s BankUnited Center.

Aurea Cruz led Puerto Rico with a match-high 17 points, which included nine kills and seven aces. Sarai Alvarez added 10 points for the victors.

Blanca E. Recinos Ocana, Rut Beatriz Gomes Guzman and Susana Alvarado Gomez all had for points for Guatemala team highs.

Puerto Rico held a 15-4 advantage in aces, which presented service reception problems for Guatemala. Puerto Rico also held a 28-13 lead in kills and 6-2 margin in blocks.

“I think our team did well building on the rhythm from the start of the match,” Puerto Rico team captain Vilmarie Mojica.

“We got off to a slow start, but we progressively improved as the match progressed,” Guatemala team captain Aneliesse Burmeister C. said.

Puerto Rico plays Mexico at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, the second of five consecutive pool play matches before the classification round. Guatemala returns to the court at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday against the host United States team.