San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 21, 2016 –Stephanie Enright and Karina Ocasio scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, sending Puerto Rico to the verge of qualifying to Rio Olympic Games after a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-18) victory over Colombia in front of a noisy crowd that packed Roberto Clemente Coliseum of San Juan on Saturday night.
Enright landed 14 spikes of her 22 attempts and added three blocks while Ocasio’s 15 points all came via spikes. Aury Cruz and Lynda Morales contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively, in the victory with Morales four blocks and two aces.
Amanda Coneo and Madeleine Montaño were the main offensive players for Colombia with 13 and 10 points. Melissa Rangel added 8 in the losing effort.
Puerto Rico came out on top in all the scoring categories, leading in attacks (42-35), blocking (13-8) and aces (5-1).
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The Puerto Ricans need to win two sets against Kenya on Sunday to secure a first-ever spot in volleyball at the Olympic Games.
The well placed serves and tight defense at the net gave Puerto Rico the first set by wide margin 25-17. Lynda Morales and Alexandra Oquendo finished the set with 3 and 2 blocks, respectively, for the home side.
Puerto Rico trailed for most of the second set as Colombia advanced on the shoulders of Montaño. Ferrer came off the bench to tie the score at 21-all and Enright followed with spike and block of her own for a two-point lead. A couple of Puerto Rican errors produced another tied score but finally the set went to the home side 26-24 with a powerful spike by Ferrer and ace by Morales.
The duo of Enright and Ocasio gives Puerto Rico a 16-10 as the crowd went wild at Clemente Coliseum. The Puerto Ricans increased the lead to 20-12 and people in the stands started to chant. Enright was on fire producing terrific spikes. Several errors from anxiety close the distance to 22-18 but the set concluded 25-18 with another ace by Morales.