Peru Holds Off Argentina for Fifth Place

July 04, 2009, 4:36 p.m. (ET)

MIAMI, Fla. (July 4, 2009) – Peru held off a resilient Argentina team prevailing 27-25, 25-20, 16-25, 19-25, 17-15 in a titanic five-setter for fifth place of the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup between two traditional South American rivals.

The match was a preview of the expected clash between the same two sides scheduled for three weeks later in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on July 22-26 where both teams most likely will be disputing the second place and a ticket to the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship. Hosts Brazil will be a heavy favorite in the competition with Venezuela as the fourth team competing for a berth in Japan.

The Peruvians outscored their opponents 9-6 and 9-5 in the block and serve category respectively. Argentina held a 71-56 advantage in attacks.

Jessenia Uceda led five Peruvians in double-figures with 19 points. Patricia Soto added 16 including three aces, Leyla Chihuan contributed three blocks and three aces among her 13 points, and Yulissa Zamudio and Carla Ortiz charted 13 and 10, respectively.

Leticia Boscacci had a match-high 24 points hammering 21 kills along with three blocks for Argentina, while Georgina Pinedo added 21 and Georgina Klug added 15.

“Since the very beginning it was clear the match was going to be a close one,” said Chihuan, the captain of Peru. “We lost the focus and were too relaxed in the third and fourth sets. In the tie-breaker I only asked my teammates to play with their hearts out.”

“It took a while before we could find our rhythm and it was a different game for us from the third set on,” said Horacio Bastit, the coach of Argentina. “We had the game in our hands in the tie-breaker but gave it away missing with two of the last three chances to serve.”