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USA cruise past Nicaragua to reach NORCECA U19 Semifinals

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 9, 2018.- United States cruise past Nicaragua 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-13) to advance to the semifinal match against Puerto Rico of the NORCECA U19 Boys’ Continental Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica.

With their usual slow start here in Costa Rica, the USA boys came out on top dominating all categories with sizeable margin of 30-16 in spikes, 11-0 in blocks and 13-2 in serves over Nicaragua.  United States allowed 30 unforced errors and benefited from 21 of Nicaragua.

United States used a balanced scoring attack with 14 points by Akhil Tangutur, Joseph Deluzio scored 13 points, Clarke Godgold chipped in with 12 points and Nathaniel Gates added 10 points. Josue Cano of Nicaragua scored 7 points.

The US team will battle against Puerto Rico in semifinals for one of the two vacancies up for bid to the FIVB World Championship next year. Nicaragua will face Costa Rica for fifth place.

Coach Brad Keller of United States: “the match started slowly because it’s the morning after that they exerted a ton of energy the night before, so coming out early morning is a bit difficult to get motivated and get going. Finally they got the rhythm; we’ve had that problem the whole tournament. We have a good deep team, some guys to help us out and we can go with any line-up, depending how fresh we are to face the semifinal”.

Wing spiker Akhill Tangutur of United States: “we’ve been saying that our chemistry is really good and today it was the same, we had a good attitude and we expect to play tonight against Puerto Rico like we did in the third set against Cuba”.

Coach Jorge Mena of Nicaragua: “it was good match, we played well, and it was a good preparation to face our next opponent Costa Rica. We hope to have an excellent defense just like this one”.  

Libero Jordan Carcache of Nicaragua: “we practiced really hard on our defense preparing to face stronger teams. Nicaragua has always defended pretty well and today we gave our all from the beginning; I hope to have better energy against Costa Rica”