Mexico blocks Venezuela all the way

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, July 30, 2018.- Mexico beat Venezuela 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18) with impressive 18 -6 blocking margin in the men’s volleyball tournament at the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games.

Mexico earned a second important victory in pool A waiting for the result between Cuba and Dominican Republic to determine their final pool position and quarterfinal crossover. Both teams were cautious as the match developed with a slower rhythm as they normally perform.

Despite Venezuela’s dominance in the second set to even the actions, Mexico’s effective blocking in set four astonished Venezuela, scoring seven consecutive blocking points while Venezuela led by slim 17-16 score. Mexico finished with 18-6 blocking margin.

Venezuela led in the other skills, with 51-46 advantage in spikes and 6-5 in aces. Mexico allowed 21 points on errors and Venezuela 24.

Mexico and Venezuela used a balanced scoring offense. Opposite Daniel Vargas scored 18 points for Mexico, accompanied by wing spikers Gonzalo Ruiz and Jorge Barajas with 11 points apiece; middle blocker Jose Martinez chipped in with 10 points. Venezuela was led by opposite Emerson Rodriguez with 15 points, wing spikers Ronald Fayola and Willner Rivas who tallied 13 points each and by middle blocker Jose Verdi with 11 points.

Mexican captain Pedro Rangel said they started the first set well “we were strong at the beginning but things got out of reach in set two with Venezuela’s powerful serves, affecting our attack. We managed to block pretty well, we knew where they were going to attack and we shut the doors. Our blocking mad the difference, even if it’s not that tall”.

Jorge Azair, head coach of Mexico indicated, “we left the unforced errors committed in set two aside and our blocking worked out. We calmed down, pressured with serves so we could organize better and structure our blocking. Both teams played under pressure because the result puts us in a better position to play in quarterfinals against third place in group B. Fortunately we won and the tournament continues strong, this pool is the toughest”.

 “There was a lot of pressure during the game” said Venezuelan captain Jose Cruz, “it was a good match, good volleyball and a good spectacle. In the beginning it was very tight but we failed in small details. Unfortunately this wasn’t the result we were expecting, but we aren’t eliminated; we will wait for the result of Cuba and Dominican Republic, and the one between Colombia and Puerto Rico as well”.