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Colombia wins battle with Mexico and moved on to semifinals


 HAVANA, Cuba, March 31, 2017–Colombia defeated Mexico to win a four-set point by point battle 3-1 (25-16, 25-27, 25-21, 25-22) while booking a pass to the semifinals of the IV Pan American U-18 Girls’ Cup taking place at the Sports City Coliseum.  


The South Americans, who next meet the powerful team of Dominican Republic, attacked and blocked more. Their offensive was led by Ana Olaya (17), Valerin Carabali (12), Angie Velasquez and Manuela Ibarguen with 11 point apiece.


For the Mexicans, Uxue Guereca Parra (18) and Daniela Siller (11) were the top-scorers.


 Antonio Rizola, Brazilian coach of Colombia: “Both teams displayed good technique controlling the ball. The difference was the number of errors made as a result of the nervousness. However today we played according to the responsibility that this match demanded from us. My pupils showed a lot of courage and they deserve to be in semifinals. Let´s see how far we can get as we are nearer the world ticket than ever and we will fight for it.”


Valerin Carabali, Colombian captain: “We are quite happy as we did our best putting up fight for the victory up to the very end. It was an intense match as the Mexicans play well, but we did more and now we will go on doing battle to the end.”


Ricardo Naranjo, Cuban coach of México: “It was a tough match from the beginning up to the end. My girls did not resist physically, but they made efforts and our best athlete, Guereca Parra, did not contribute the usual amount of points which is normal at this age.


 However we are happy as we have added international games against rivals with good height which has helped our team who will fight for the fifth place. Then we will prepare more on the road to the world event.”


Mirelis Valdés, Mexican captain: “We made many errors, but we are able to correct as right here we qualified to the world championship. Thus we will prepare more and this experience will help us to not repeat them.”