by Ian Marshall, Editor
Three groups in the opening phase of the girls’ team event, it was first place without defeat for the respective top two seeds. The United States (Crystal Wang, Amy Wang, Rachel Sung, Rachel Yang) the top seeds, secured first place in their group as did Canada, the no.3 seeds (Ivy Liao, Joyce Xu, Benita Zhou, Sophie Gauthier).
Meanwhile, in the boys’ team competition, four groups in the initial stage, the leading outfits ended the day in group first positions. It was a day without defeat for the United States (Sharon Alguetti, Nikhil Kumar, Victor Liu, Michael Minh Tran) as it was for Chile (Nicolas Burgos, Sebastian Gonzalez, Andres Martinez, Jorge Paredes). Likewise, Brazil (Lauro Sebold, Guilherme Teodoro, Eduardo Tomoike and Rafael Torino topped their group, a situation that also applied to Argentina (Santiago Lorenzo, Matias Velarde, Matias Guadalupe, Lautaro Sato)
Story of the day
09.00 Junior Girls’ Team
The United States, selecting Crystal Wang, Amy Wang and Rachel Sung made their intentions clear from the start, the top seeds a 3-0 win was recorded against the no.8 seeds, Puerto Rico’s Fabiola Diaz, Kassandra Maldonado and Brianna Burgos.
It was the very same from the no.2 seeds, the Canadian combination of Ivy Liao, Joyce Xu and Benita Zhou; they secured a 3-0 win when facing the no.7 seeds, Paraguay’s Cielo Mutti, Leyla Gomez and Karimi Apud. Likewise, in the same group, the no.6 seeds, the Ecuadorian trio comprising Mylena Plaza, Nathaly Paredes and Alejandra Veintimilla clinched victory by the same margin in opposition to the no.11 seeds, Costa Rica’s Sharon Diaz, Maria Monge and Paula Gomez.
Impressive from the top two seeds, it was only slightly more testing for the next in line; a 3-1 win was the outcome in favour of Guatemala’s Mercedes Mendizabal, Hidalynn Zapata and Lucia Cordero in opposition to the no.9 seeds, El Salvador’s Keren Constanza, Monica Mendoza and Cristina Machado. The player to cause the no.3 seeds problems being Keren Constanza, in the opening match of the engagement, she accounted for Mercedes Mendizabal (13-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-7).
Success for Guatemala in their opening contest, it was the same for the no.5 seeds, Brazil’s Livia Lima, Giulia Takahashi and Laura Watanabe; they recorded a 3-0 win when facing the host nation’s Clio Barcenas, Monica Muñoz and Anais de Leon Chapa, the no.10 seeds.
“It is very important for us to achieve qualification just like last year. Now we’re without Bruna Takahashi, it’s going to be hard but we’re going to fight to the full. First we have to do well in group against Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico; there we face the key matches.” Livia Lima.
11.00 Junior Boys’ Team
Spirited recoveries from two games to nil in arrears from Dario Arce against Matias Velarde (14-16, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 12-10) and in opposition to Santiago Lorenzo (5-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 12-10) but it was not enough to avoid defeat for the host nation in their opening contest against Argentina the no.4 seeds.
Defeats for Juan Gomez against Santiago Lorenzo (6-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6) and in opposition to Matias Velarde (11-2, 15-13, 11-7) in the vital fifth and deciding match of the fixture plus a reverse for Sergio Cano when facing Matias Guadalupe (15-13, 11-6, 11-13, 12-14, 11-7) cost Mexico dear.
Success as anticipated it was the same for the respective top three seeds but in more convincing style. Selecting Victor Liu, Sharon Alguetti and Michael Minh Tran, the United States recorded a 3-0 win when facing the no.10 seeds, Guatemala’s Kevin Ruano, Sergio Carillo and Jorge Chacon. Likewise, Chile’s Andres Martinez, Nicolas Burgos and Sebastian Gonzalez prevailed in style against no.9 seeds, Trinidad and Tobago’s Derron Douglas, Javier King and N’Kosi Rouse.
Not to be overshadowed, there was no stopping Brazil; Guilherme Teodoro, Rafael Torino and Eduardo Tomoike. They followed suit in opposition to the no.12 seeds, the Belize trio formed by Devesh Hukmani, Rohit Pagarni and Taye Parkinson.
14.00 Junior Girls’ Team
A successful start to the day, Rachel Yang preferred to Rachel Sung, the United States continued their winning ways. In the second fixture of the day, they recorded a 3-0 win against the no.4 seeds, the Chilean trio formed by Natalie Ramos, Valentina Rios and Jerusalem Flores.
Convincing from the United States, for their North American neighbours, facing the no.6 seeds, Ecuador’s Mylena Plaza, Nathaly Paredes and Alejandra Veintimilla Vergara life was more exacting. Sophie Gauthier replaced Joyce Xu, a 3-2 margin of victory was the outcome. Thorn in the side of Canada was Nathaly Paredes; she beat both Benita Zhou (11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9) and Ivy Liao (11-7, 11-7, 11-9).
“Against Benita I was down 2-8 and 6-9 in the fifth game; the Canadians played fast so it was important I played with a lot of top spin on the first ball. Always I kept changing the spin on the service, a lot of variation; I tried to maintain good focus and most importantly keep fighting.” Nathaly Paredes
In the corresponding match in the same group, no changes to the earlier selection, Paraguay recorded a 3-0 win against Costa Rica.
Notable performances but the performance of the round was that recorded by Brazil, no changes to the line-ups; the no.5 seeds, they secured a 3-0 win against Guatemala, the no.3 seeds. Similarly, choosing the same three players as earlier in the day, Mexico posted a 3-1 win against El Salvador.
16.00 Junior Boys’ Team
Sharon Alguetti rested, Nikhil Kumar on duty, the United States recorded a 3-0 win against the no.7 seeds, Puerto Rico’s Angel Naranjo, Gabriel Perez and Jabdiel Torres to secure group top spot. Similarly, Chile with Jorge Paredes preferred to Sebastian Gonzalez, first place was cemented. Victory by the same margin was recorded against the no.8 seeds, Costa Rica’s Alfredo Sanchez, Daniel Araya and Bryan Solis.
Likewise with Rafael Torino, Guilherme Teodoro and Lauro Sebold on duty reserved top spot courtesy of a 3-1 win in opposition to the no.6 seeds, Peru’s Adolfo Cucho, Carlos Fernandez and Felipe Duffoo. Not be overshadowed, no changes to the morning selection, Argentina captured pole position, following a 3-1 win in opposition to the no.5 seeds, the Canadian combination of Terence Yeung, Edward Ly and Edison Huang.
18.00 Junior Girls’ Team
The United States already assured of first place, for Chile and Puerto Rico, in the same group, the quest was to secure second position; thus progress to the main draw and hopes of qualification for the World Junior Championships alive. The verdict went in favour Chile; no changes to earlier in the day, a 3-0 win was recorded against the Puerto Ricans who retained Fabiola Diaz and Kassandra Maldonado in the line-up but replaced Brianna Burgos with Kristal Melendez Lafontaine.
Convincing success, it was the same for Canada’s Ivy Liao, Joyce Xu and Sophie Gauthier who secured a 3-0 win in opposition to Costa Rica’s Paula Gomez, Sharon Diaz and Maripaz Araya to secure first place. Second place finished in the hands of Ecuador’s Nathaly Paredes, Mylena Plaza and Alejandra Veintimilla Vergara. They ended the day by posting a 3-0 success in opposition to Paraguay’s Cielo Mutti, Leyla Gomez and Karimi Apud.
Impressive performances, both teams fielding same players as earlier in the Brazil maintained their unbeaten record to claim first place in their group by overcoming El Salvador.
Similarly, the same selections as earlier in the day, Mexico secured a 3-1 win against Guatemala to reserve second place and thus progress to the main draw.