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Puerto Rico Claims Bronze at NORCECA

Sept. 21, 2013, 9:13 p.m. (ET)

OMAHA, Nebraska, September 21, 2013 – Puerto Rico captured the bronze medal of the 2013 Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship by defeating Canada 25-23, 25-16, 25-16 on Saturday at Ralston Arena.

Puerto Rico earned a podium spot for the second time in the 23rd edition of the biennial championship. Puerto Rico won the silver medal in 2009.

Karina Ocasio, who entered the bronze-medal match with a tournament-leading 63 points, added to her point total with a match-high 19 points for Puerto Rico. Aurea Cruz chipped in 14 points in the victory. Canada was paced by Tabitha Love led Canada with 13 points and Dana Cranston added 10 points.

Offensively, Puerto Rico dominated Canada with a 44-27advantage in kills and benefited from 19 Canadian errors. Canada held a slim 10-9 margin in blocks and both teams had three aces.

Puerto Rico Player Karina Ocasio: “It’s been a rough year. We’ve had a lot of players injured. So for us, this tournament, I think it was great to see what level we are right now. We’re happy with the bronze medal. We came here of course with the goal of winning the gold medal. But after we lost yesterday, we said we at least have to go home with a bronze medal.”

Puerto Rico Coach Jose Mieles: “We set a goal of making it to the NORCECA championship and to take a medal home and that’s what we have accomplished. So we did accomplish our goal, which is the second medal that Puerto Rico has ever won at this event.”

Canada Captain Brittney Page: “Looking back, I think there are a lot of positives that we’re taking away from this. We definitely played out of our comfort zone and stepped up and maintained that longer. Even the first set tonight wasn’t as good as we have been for the rest of the tournament. It was disappointing.”

Canada Coach Arnd Ludwig: “We kept our worst game of the tournament for the last day. We started well in the first set but then everything broke down. We didn’t serve that tough any more. We couldn’t pass that well any more. We just weren’t ready to play today in the bronzed medal game.”

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