OMAHA, Nebraska, September 19, 2013 – Puerto Rico earned a spot into Friday’s 2013 Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship following its 25-16, 25-22, 25-19 quarterfinal victory over Mexico on Thursday evening at Ralston Arena.
Puerto Rico will challenge Dominican Republic, which won Pool A and advanced directly to the semifinals, on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. Mexico will play Trinidad & Tobago in the fifth-place match on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT.
Aurea Cruz sparked Puerto Rico with 15 points and teammate Karina Ocasio added 12 points. Mexico was paced by Mexico was paced by Andrea Rangel’s eight points.
Puerto Rico out-served Mexico 7-3 in aces and held a slim 4-2 margin in blocks. The winners also built a 39-28 advantage in kills.
Puerto Rico Captain Yarimar Rosa: “That was our second goal, to make it to semifinals so we accomplished that today. We’re glad it was in three sets so we can rest a little bit more for tomorrow’s game. We knew they are a young team and they were going to play up and down and that’s exactly what happened. We have played (the Dominican Republic) a lot this year so we know what to expect from that team. It’s a rivalry between us.”
Puerto Rico Coach Jose Mieles: “We accomplished our goals that we set for this match and that’s going to help us in the match coming up. It was good preparation for it. (To beat the Dominican Republic) we need to find that big game that we’ve been looking for. We need to play with heart and with passion. Our main goal is to get out there and give it our all.”
Mexico Captain Dulce Carranza: “We struggled to adjust to their serving game. It was tough to try to do that. By the time we would try to do something to come back, they were already ahead of us by a lot so it was hard for us to keep fighting back.”
Mexico Coach Claudio Torres: “We didn’t do what we planned to do. I think the pressure of wanting to be in the semifinals got to us. We didn’t follow the plan. The players made decisions that they weren’t supposed to and were not what we talked about before the match. If we had focused a little more we could have competed better.”