Puerto Rico dominates Canada in semifinals and qualifies to FIVB Worlds

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 30, 2021. - Puerto Rico dominated Canada 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20) at the Women’s NORCECA Continental Championship semifinals in Guadalajara and qualifies to the 2022 FIVB World Championship.

Puerto Rico moved into their second NORCECA title match in the history of the event with 58-48 advantage in attacks and a 5-1 margin in serves, despite Canada’s impressive blocking advantage of 11-5. They committed similar amount of errors, Puerto Rico 25 and Canada 26.

Opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie of Puerto Rico scored a match-high of 22 points on 21 kills and one block. Also contributing in Puerto Rico’s semifinal win was outside hitter Marie Victoria with 16 points, joined by Stephanie Enright with 13 points and middle blocker Neira Ortiz with 10 points.

On Canada’s side, four players hit double figures, middle blocker Alicia Ogoms led with 15 points on 13 kills, 3 blocks and one ace, outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk followed with 12 points, outside hitter Hilary Howe led on 5 blocks from her 11 points and middle blocker Jennifer Cross added 11 points.

Natalia Valentin, Captain of Puerto Rico: “It was intense and our team was calm in moments of pressure. We knew our performance was going to work out so we were patient, trusting the staff and ourselves; honestly we executed every aspect of the game well”.

“Fue un partido sumamente intenso y nuestro equipo tuvo mucha calma en los momentos de presión. Sabíamos que nos iba a salir el juego por lo que tuvimos paciencia, confiando en el staff y en nosotras mismas; la verdad ejecutamos bien todos los aspectos del juego”.

Fernando Morales, Coach of Puerto Rico: “We prepared our game plan studying Canada and the girls followed it. The credit is all theirs, they trusted themselves when they lost the third set, the trusted the plan when things were difficult. We served better in this match, so Canada had difficulties in receiving and weren´t able to perform their fast rhythm of play”.

“Estudiamos bien a Canadá, hicimos el plan de juego y las muchachas lo siguieron. El crédito es de las muchachas, confiaron en ellas mismas cuando se perdió el tercer set, confiaron en el plan cuando las cosas se complicaron. En este partido sacamos mejor, le complicamos el recibo a Canadá y no pudieron implementar su juego rápido”.

Jennifer Cross, Captain of Canada: “We didn’t serve that aggressive and Puerto Rico was in system a lot, they were able to use different options and made it difficult for our block-defense, there were some good parts in this match, but it hurts a little bit”.

“No servimos de forma agresiva y Puerto Rico estuvo en su sistema bastante, ellas pudieron utilizar diferente opciones y nos dificultaron el bloqueo-defensa, hubo algunas partes buenas, pero duele un poco”.

Shannon Winzer, coach of Canada: “We stopped them when attacking but we were outserved by Puerto Rico. We were too tentative from the base line and Puerto Rico in system is a really good team, they fought much better than the first time”.

“Las pudimos detener cuando atacamos pero Puerto Rico nos superó en el servicio. Fuimos muy indecisas en la línea y el sistema de Puerto Rico es muy bueno, lucharon mucho mejor que la primera vez”.