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Colombia sweeps Costa Rica to finish second in Pool B


HAVANA, Cuba, March 30, 2017–Colombia beat Costa Rica in straight sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-15) to finish second in Pool at the Pan American U-18 Girls’ Cup.


 South Americans had a 1-1 win and loss average in the preliminary phase, while the Central Americans ended it up without victories in two games.


Ana Olaya with 11 points and Emelys Martínez and Manuela Ibarguen with 10 apiece were the best scorers, while on the opposing side Tamara Espinoza contributed 7 points.


Antonio Rizola, Brazilian coach of Colombia: “With all respect for our rivals, we wanted them not to have as similar performance as when played against Cuba yesterday to secure the second place. At this category, players lose concentration easier. For instance, in the second set they allowed Costa Rica to react from 9-23 and get to 15-25. So, I am happy for the result, but we need three more wins to be in the WCH.”


 Andres Lopez, coach of Costa Rica: “We were able to defend from the powerful attack by Colombia and also counteract with some transitions which were not always effective but we did it. When meeting Cubans, we did nothing. So we played better today and I am pleased my girls have battled against one of the power nations in South America.”   


Valerin Carabali, Colombian captain: “We played hard despite being a stronger team as we should not underestimate Costa Rica. However given that we are more experienced than them, we were sometimes overconfident, although we got to win in the end.”


Tamara Espinoza, captain of Costa Rica: “Today we were more focused than against Cuba. However we thought we could have done more, but we are satisfied considering our opponents’ superiority.”