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Puerto Rico’s women get the pass to Italy

Puerto Rico's Aury Cruz spikes against Costa Rica in the match to dispute the ticket to Italy at the NORCECA Pool R Qualifier on Sunday
Ponce, Puerto Rico, May 25, 2014 – Puerto Rico paved their way to the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Italy with an overwhelming victory over Costa Rica 25-14, 25-16, 25-11 in the gold medal match of the NORCECA Pool R Qualification Tournament on Sunday at Juan “Pachín” Vicens Auditorium.

The strategic serves and good offensive control were the keys for the victory of Puerto Rico. The winners held a huge 13-4 margin in blocks and blanked the defeated side 8-0 in aces. 
Puerto Rican captain Yarimar Rosa stood out in the offense with 16 points, including four aces, followed by the veteran Aury Cruz with 10 and setter Natalia Valentin with six blocks and 8 points.

Verania Willis had 15 points for Costa Rica and her sister Angela Willis had six in the losing effort.

Jose Mieles, coach of Puerto Rico: “Very happy because we achieved our goal. The team has worked well in the short period of training we have had and now we must start the preparation for the route to Italy.”

Horacio Bastit, coach of Costa Rica: “We had a better performance in the second set but it was not enough. Now we have to train hard for the battle towards the last vacancy in the playoffs in July.”

In the match for third place, Barbados saw off St Lucia 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 25-27, 25-17).

St Lucia outscored Barbados in blocks 18-12 and held a slight 4-3 in aces but made 45 unforced errors to 19 by the winners.

Julia Lewis was the best for Barbados with 21 points while Avara Brown and De-Ann Smith added 14 and 10, respectively. St Lucia’s Dania Hamilton had a match-high 22 points, followed by Natalie Edwards and Tyna Williams each with 11 points.


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