PRESS RELEASE 19.12.2003


Puerto Rico defeats Mexico

Santo Domingo, December 18, 2003 - Puerto Rico took an important step towards the semifinal round with a victory in consecutive sets over Mexico, who still have to win its first match. The score was 25-19, 25-20, 25-21.

Puerto Rico, who is now 1-2, had to come from six points back in the third set (13-19) to close the match. With the score evened at 19, Karina Ocasio scored three consecutive spikes to give her side room to breath.

“We went out determined to improved from our first two matches against the squads of Cuba and Dominican Republic and we did it,” said David Aleman, the coach of Puerto Rico. “Mexico was a tough rival tonight but at the end our blocking and service guided us to the victory.”

Veteran Eva Cruz led the Puerto Ricans with 15 points and the Ocasio sisters, Karina and Sheila, had 13 and 10 respectively.

“It was a do or die match, and now we go after Canada trying to finish second in the preliminary round,” said Xiomara Molero, the captain of Puerto Rico.

Jorge Azair, the Mexican coach, said his team is not physically prepared as they only trained eight days before this tournament

“We can play solid at the start and in the midle of the sets, but we are showing some weakness at the end and our jumping capacity is not the same,” he said. “The blocking of Puerto Rico killed us.”

Claudia Rodriguez and Blanca Chan scored 14 and 10 respectively for Mexico.