USA blank Puerto Rico to qualify to FIVB Boys’ U19 World
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 9, 2018.-
United States blanked Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-20) in
their semifinal match at the NORCECA U19 Boys’ Continental
Championship and qualified to the FIVB age-group World
Championship next year.
United States overcame last night’s quarterfinal loss to Cuba
with force at the net beating Puerto Rico without serious
troubles. The USA boys gained confidence with their outstanding
serves despite running into some tough resistance by the Puerto
United States will go up NORCECA champions Cuba, pool-play
rematch on Sunday’s title match.
United States held a huge 46-24 advantage in attacks, 7-0 in
blocks and 5-3 in serves. USA finished with 29 unforced errors
and Puerto Rico with 17.
Opposite Scott Solan led all scorers with 18 points on 12 kills,
2 blocks and 4 aces, followed by wing spiker Akhil Tangutur with
13 points on 11 kills and 2 blocks, and Alexander Knight also
finished with 13 points on 10 kills, 2 blocks and one ace.
Puerto Rican opposite Sebastian Negron topped with 11 points on
10 kills and one ace.
Coach Brad Keller of United States:
“tonight we started off faster, we were more disciplined and we
slowed the game down to our pace. I am proud of these guys, they
have done every single thing that we’ve asked them, I am really
happy for them. I have a lot of respect for coach Juan Albarran
and Puerto Rico, he does the best job coaching his boys and he’s
a winner. We’re excited for facing Cuba again, we’re just going
to celebrate this one and then dial in for that”.
Opposite Scott Solan of United States:
“I knew the team needed confidence and we all have our back,
that’s why I did my job in serving and swinging to my best. I am
glad to contribute to my team and for the US. We all gave our
Coach Juan Albarran of Puerto Rico:
“United States came with a well-structured game plan, their
serves really damaged us in the first two sets, our performance
was lower than our previous matches. Most definitely our
blocking was absent and blocking boosts the excitement and game
level; we were flat”.
Capitan Wilmer Hernández of Puerto Rico:
“our reception wasn’t working, so our passing wasn’t in zone,
that destroyed our offense and United States is a tall team that
blocks pretty well”.