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NORCECA open Girls’ U18 Championship in Costa Rica

USA's setter Lauren Sperckman contributed four aces in the victory over Honduras on Tuesday
San Jose, Costa Rica, June 25, 2014 - Opening day at the Girls’ U-18 NORCECA Continental Championship at the Gimnasio Nacional in San Jose was marked by three straight set victories on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico and United States celebrated their strong debut with cruising wins over their opponents St. Lucia and Honduras respectively, while hosts Costa Rica overcame some difficulties in the beginning of the match before defeating Trinidad & Tobago.

Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Mexico are scheduled to make their debuts on the second day of actions on Wednesday. 

The top three teams at the end of the tournament are granted with tickets to the 2015 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship.

Puerto Rico 3, St. Lucia 0
Puerto Rico crushed St. Lucia 3-0 (25-16, 25-8, 25-5) in the opening match of the tournament. St. Lucia couldn’t control Puerto Rico’s strong serves and had no chance to turn things around.  Puerto Rico held a huge advantage of 30-3 in kills, 17-0 in service points. They were also better in the blocking category by 5-2. Puerto Rico took advantage of 23 St. Lucia’s errors. The only player with double digits, Alejandra Negron with 12 points, led Puerto Rico’s victory, with 3 aces included. Outside spikers Paola Salas and Kariema Rodriguez contributed with 7 points apiece. 

United States 3, Honduras 0
Defending champions United States displayed their power while brushing aside Honduras 3-0 (25-8, 25-9, 25-8) in their debut. With a better structured game, the Americans had no resistance from the Central American team.  United States put big pressure over Honduras with their services. The superiority from United States was evident in their stats against Honduras; they held a 33-5 advantage in spikes, 8-0 in blocking and 16-0 in serves. Topping USA’s scorers was Milan Stokes with 14 points, including 7 aces and 2 blocks; she was followed by setter Kathryn Plummer with 9 points. 

Costa Rica 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Hosts Costa Rica defeated Trinidad & Tobago 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-14). Costa Rica took advantage of 33 errors by their opponents, against 10 of their own. Costa Rica held a 29-26 advantage in successful attacks and 7-5 in blocking. Trinidad & Tobago was superior in service points by 9-6. Opposite Tamara Espinoza of Costa Rica led Costa Rica’s scorers with 11 points, 10 via kills and she was joined by Mariana Rodriguez and Fabiola Quiros with 9 and 8 points, respectively. For Trinidad & Tobago, Reann Young scored a match-high 16 points, along with 13 by Kaylon Cruickshank. 


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