Tijuana, Mexico, July 4, 2012 – Hosts Mexico and Cuba advanced to the semifinal phase of the NORCECA U19 Boys' Continental Championship as winners of their respective pools with unbeaten win-loss records in three outings.
United States play against Costa Rica while Nicaragua meets Puerto Rico in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
The top two ranked teams, besides hosts Mexico, at the conclusion of eight-team competition will be granted tickets to next year’s FIVB Volleyball Boys' Youth World Championship to be held in Tijuana and Mexicali.
Mexico advanced to the semifinals after an exhausting five-set victory over the United States 3-2 (24-26, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 15-10). Mexico’s Alexis Garay finished with 21 points (including 4 aces) followed by Enrique Ugalde with 19. Mauricio López contributed 17 and Sebastian Castro added 10 in the winning effort.
On the American side, Fey Kupono had a match-high while Lee Smith and Christian Blough each charted 12 and Mitchell Penning tallied 11.
“We fought very hard and everyone in the team is very glad for this victory,” Mexico’s captain Mauricio Lopez stated.
Cuba won Pool A with a 3-0 win-loss record and became the first team qualified to the semifinals with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-13) win over Costa Rica. Osmany Santiago Uriarte scored 10 points for the Cuban squad and Abrahan Alfonso Gavilan contributed 9.
“We came out with a great spirit, and we kept our competition level. I am glad about finishing first in our pool,” Cuba’s captain Ricardo Calvo said.
Nicaragua advanced to the quarterfinals after cruising victory in straight sets (25-10, 25-22, 25-9) over winless French Saint Martin. Ruben Alejandro Mora scored 17 points for Nicaragua while Douglas Alexander Chavez finished with 10.
“I am glad for this victory, it was very important to get into the quarterfinals,” Chavez commented.
Puerto Rico kept its world championship qualification hopes alive, following a victory over US Virgin Islands 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-21). Jose Pagan collected 14 points and Juan Ruiz Goyco had 11 for Puerto Rico, while Thomas Aseah tallied 16 for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Fortunately we could capitalize some aspects and correct some mistakes we had been making since the first match,” Puerto Rico’s Luis Garcia said.
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