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Mexico makes Calypso Spikers pay
Host Mexico capitalised on 39 errors by T&T to erase a 0-2 deficit in a thrilling five-set win when Group A preliminary round matches at the 13th Pan American Volleyball Cup ended at the Juan De La Barrera Gymnasium, Mexico City, Mexico, on Sunday night.
One night after taking a first ever set from Cuba in a 1-3 loss, the ‘Calypso Spikers” looked set for a second straight win over Mexico at consecutive Pan American Cups when it won the first two sets, 25-18, 25-21.
However, T&T, the five-time reigning Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association champions then fell apart with an increasing number of errors as Mexico won the next three sets, 25-15, 25-20, 15-8.
It was Mexico’s third such win of the competition, but they finished fourth behind Cuba who also compiled a 3-2 mark but with 15 points to nine from Mexico.
T&T ended 0-5 and 11th.
Leading the way for the winners were Andrea Rangel and Lizbeth Sainz who each scored 19 points.
On the other side of the net, T&T captain Krystle Esdelle had a match-high 21 points, 20 of which were kills while Darlene Ramdin got 11, the trio of Sinead Jack, Renele Forde and Channon Thompson ten apiece and Jalicia Ross-Kydd, eight.
Speaking after the match, which no doubt served as a good test for T&T which will host Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua in the Fourth Round FIVB World Championship Qualifiers to Italy here in T&T from July 14-22, T&T’s Cuban-born coach, Francisco ‘Panchee’ Cruz said his team needed to learn how to finish the job.
“We need to learn how to close the sets and the matches, and to do that you need to play more. We started well and won the first two sets, but then we got over anxious after losing the third set and the reason for that is the lack of play.”
In the other Pool A match, Dominican Republic secured a direct spot to the semifinals following a 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 victory over Canada with a 5-0 win-loss record while the Canadians fell to a 3-2 mark, and Cuba earned a quarterfinals after defeating Peru 28-26, 27-25, 25-18.
And in Pool B, Argentina defeated Costa Rica 25-18, 25-12, 25-17 to confirm second spot behind winners and automatic semifinalist USA, which is the two-time defending champion while Puerto Rico dominated Colombia 25-13, 25-22, 31-29 at Carlos Martinez Balmori Multipost Hall of the Autonomous University of Hidalgo.