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Peru send spirited Costa Rica home

Costa Rica won many admirers for their style of play and were a welcome addition to the FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010

Tokyo, Japan, November 3, 2010 - Peru booked the fourth and final second-round spot from Pool A of the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship after a well-worked 3-1 (25-18, 25-18, 32-34, 25-19) win over Costa Rica in Tokyo on Wednesday. With both sides carrying 1-3 records going into the match, the winner was guaranteed survival while the loser would go home. Peru's win sees them advance along with Serbia, Poland and hosts Japan. Costa Rica, with their fourth loss, join Algeria as an eliminated team.

Peru’s scoring was well distributed, led by Patricia Soto and Jessenia Uceda with 18 each and captain Leyla Chihuan with 16. As they were throughout the tournament, Costa Rica were driven on by their captain Verania Willis who posted a monster 24 points in the game.

FIVB Women’s World Championship Japan 2010 official page

The teams exchanged points to start with, Costa Rica taking a slight edge after a great block by Dionisia Thompson on Uceda to make it 8-5 early on. Costa Rica increased their lead until a five-point run by Peru brought them to within one at 13-12. The Peruvians took the lead after a clever tip at the net by Uceda and yet another five-point streak late on by Peru, including a pair of wonderful tips at the net by Uceda, helped them close out the first set at 25-18.

Peru roared out in the second taking eight of the first nine points including a pair of incredible blocks by Soto at the net on wing spiker Verania Willis. Chihuan dropped a pair of tips past Costa Rican blockers mid-set to help her side stay comfortably out in front at 16-7 but Costa Rica then put together a run capped by an Angela Willis block to make it 16-11. However Yulissia Zamudio Ore kept Costa Rica at arm’s length by attacking well down the stretch, allowing Karla Ortiz to close it out with a spike at 25-18.

Verania Willis injected life into her Costa Rican team with a trio of attacks to put them up 8-3 in the third but a determined Peru fought back and an Uceda block tied it at 17-17 before Mirtha Uribe gave them the lead. But Verania Willis responded, all but single-handedly keeping Costa Rica in the match as the set neared the 60-point mark. Eventually, her 12 points in the set made the difference as Costa Rica sneaked it 34-32, fighting off two Peru match-points near the end and equalling the FIVB Women's World Championship record for the highest set score.

The fourth set started relatively evenly with the teams rallying to 10-10 until a Karen Cope block on Ortiz put Costa Rica ahead by four. But Peru surged back with attacks from Chihuan and Uceda to go 21-17 ahead. Soto finally finished it with a pair of spikes to end the set, 25-19, as well as Costa Rica's campaign while Peru's jubilant fans live for another day.

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