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Puerto Rico edges Trinidad & Tobago in marathon match

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 9, 2018 – Puerto Rico prevailed over Trinidad & Tobago 3-2 (30-28 25-20, 21-25, 26-28, 15-8) in a marathon match of 2 hours and 18 minutes in Pool B of the Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup on Monday.

Trinidad & Tobago could not close the first set after committing several unforced errors with their attacks despite building a 24-21 lead but came back to win the third and the fourth forcing a tie-break.

Noami Santos and Shirley Ferrer had 20 and 15 points, respectively, to spearhead the Puerto Rican offense while Pilar Marie Victoria and Neira Ortiz added 11 and 10.

Krystle Esdelle led all the players in the match with 23 points in the losing cause while Channon Thompson (19), Sinead Jack (14) and Jalicia Ross (13) also reached double figures for Trinidad & Tobago.

The losing team held a 22-10 advantage in the blocking category but gave away 42 points via unforced errors to 27 by the winners.

Natalia Valentin, Captain of Puerto Rico: Trinidad and Tobago had a huge blocking and strong attack but we were able to get the result. Congratulations for a great match.

Kelly Ann Billingy, Player of Trinidad & Tobago: It is the first time we play five sets against Puerto Rico. This is a confidence builder. Now we know that we can go out and play any team in the world.

Javier Gaspar, Coach of Puerto Rico: “Trinidad & Tobago deserved the win as they played better than us. They improved their serve and had a big wall. In the fifth set we were able to control the emotions better than them.

Francisco Cruz, Coach of Trinidad & Tobago: I am happy with the match against Puerto Rico because they really know how to play the game. My players step by step are adjusting and following the instructions. The experience of Puerto Rico was the difference in the tie-breaker.