Puerto Rico Topples Costa Rica, Stays Undefeated

June 29, 2009, 7:12 p.m. (ET)

MIAMI, Fla. (June 29, 2009) – Puerto Rica remained undefeated during the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup with a 25-21, 25-18, 25-11 victory over Costa Rica (1-3) at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center.

Aurea Cruz tallied a match-high 14 points for Puerto Rico and she was aided on the scoreboard by Sarai Alvarez and Yarimar Rosa, who each contributed nine points. Sheila Ocasio turned in seven points in the victory.

Costa Rica was led by Verania Willis’ nine points, while Angela Willis added seven points.

Although Puerto Rico committed 23 errors in the three-set match, it held a 14-4 block advantage and 7-2 margin in aces. Puerto Rico also had a 35-21 kill advantage.

“At first we made too many errors and needed a lot of effort to defeat our opponent,” Puerto Rico Head Coach Carlos Cardona said. “The most important part of this match was learning to deal with adversity to win.”

“This was not our best match, but we were able to come back and win,” Puerto Rico captain Vilmarie Mojica said. “It was good to see the reserves maintain the level when they came into the match.”

“Congratulations to Puerto Rico as they are a great team,” Costa Rica Head Coach B. Godinez Blanco said. “I am happy that we battled in the first and second set. The difference of level was pretty obvious at the end, but I am happy that we showed a good level and hope to raise it as the tournament goes along.”

Puerto concludes Pool A action on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, the fifth consecutive pool play match before the classification round starts on July 2, versus undefeated United States (3-0 before match with Peru later today). Costa Rica takes on Mexico (1-3) on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to complete pool play.