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Toronto, Canada, July 22, 2015 – Puerto Rico registered a nail-biting victory in five sets 3-2 (25-21, 25-27, 25-10, 11-25, 15-13) over Argentina's Las Panteras to move to the semi-final round of the women’s volleyball tournament at the Pan American Games on Wednesday.

The rival of Puerto Rico could be either Brazil or Dominican Republic, depending on the result of the other quarterfinal match between Cuba and United States. In case of a victory of the United States the opponent would be Brazil or Dominican Republic if Cuba is the winner of the contest.

Karina Ocasio had a tournament-high 24 points, including five blocks, to lead the Puerto Rican offense. Stephanie Enright and Aurea Cruz added 15 and 14, respectively, in the victory, while Sheila Ocasio chipped in with 8 points.

Paula Nizetich topped Argentina with 15 points and was supported by Emilce Sosa and Josefina Fernandez with 14 and 11, respectively.

Argentina gave away 35 points with their errors, ten more than Puerto Rico. The Argentineans led in blocks 15-12 while Puerto Rico had the upper hand in aces 5-1, with Enright totaling four.

Jose Mieles, coach of Puerto Rico: “These girls really wanted to win. They have a lot of desire. We are making history for Puerto Rico by being in a semifinal of the Pan American Games for the first time. We let the second set the get out of our hands but at the end we executed in the key moments and right now what matters the most is the result.”

Stephanie Enright, player of Puerto Rico:“It was a well fought match and it was a situation of win or win for us. Making the semifinals is something historic for Puerto Rico. Personally I feel super, mentally and physically. Yes, I would say that I am at the best moment of my career.”

Karina Ocasio, player of Puerto Rico:“Motivation was the key to win. We felt motivated and feel concentrated in that last set. We’ve spent more than one month away from Puerto Rico with scrimmage matches, playing the Grand Prix. That preparation was important. The match was full of ups and downs with a lot of inconsistency on both sides. The lesser mistakes the more chances to win. In the end we could neutralize the attack of Argentina. I feel happy for this victory.”

Mimi Sosa, player of Argentina: “A very tough match. We knew that they were very strong opponents and they would not be the same team we faced at the Pan Am Cup. They came with all their players. It’s a bittersweet sensation. We feel satisfied for the way we played. We gave it all, but at the same time we feel so sad for losing this match”.

Leticia Boscacci, player of Argentina:“I cannot have a positive perception after losing a match. It went away just by two balls. It was too difficult, too hard. We knew that it was going to be that way, so we prepared and unfortunately we lost today.”

Guillermo Orduña, Coach of Argentina:“The first two sets were very well played, we tried to get into rhythm and we did it. I’m not glad because of this loss. There were some refereeing decisions that we depended on. Up to now we had played a very good championship and gave our best today.”