PRESS RELEASE 04.08.2003


Puerto Rico defeat Peru

August 3, 2003 - Puerto Rico's women national team obtained its first victory ever in the history of the Pan Am Games after beating Peru 3-0 in the opening Pool A match.

The Puerto Ricans used a strong blockade and service to win 25-19, 25-21 and 25-15.

Sheila Ocasio, Jetzabel del Valle and Aurea Cruz starred for the winners while Milagros Moy was the best player for the Peruvians.

The first set was pretty even and was tied 16-all when del Valle and Ocasio took charge and gave Puerto Rico the first set despite the efforts of Moy.

Both teams were tied at 14-all in the second set but then the Peruvians had a lot of problems with their reception. Cruz played a vital role for the winners with her jumping service and powerful spikes.

The wall of Ocasio and Del Valle in the third completely stopped the South Americans and Puerto Rico took the victory. “It is a great victory for Puerto Rico and the first for us in the Pan Am Games history,” said Del Valle. “We went winless in 1979 when Puerto Rico was the host country.”

“Our blocking and service was very good today,” said Ocasio. “I think our overall game was pretty fair.”

Moy said “We made too many mistakes. They spotted their services in key places.”

The Puerto Rican head coach David Aleman said his team came to the event looking for one of the medals. “It is a good start,” he said. “We have been preparing this team for two years now and we are starting to see the fruits.”

The Peruvian coach Carlos Aparicio said “Our team lack experience. We are making our international debut this year and you can not do that in modern volleyball. It is a different game than those years when Peru had a top team. The sport now requires strength, quickness and height.”