There wasn’t much that didn’t go right from the service line Purdue Fort Wayne outside attacker Axel Melendez Watts.
Watts finished with a match-high four aces as Puerto Rico swept Haiti 25-23, 25-12, 25-15 in its pool-play finale at the NORCECA U21 Pan American Cup on Wednesday in Cuba.
Puerto Rico (2-1, 12 points Pool A) had 12 aces – three more aces than service errors – against Haiti. In addition, more than half Watt’s serves in the match were aces, and the outside attacker was one of four Puerto Rico players with multiple aces.
Jose Vargas and Sebastian Huyke splitting time at setter guided the Puerto Rico offense to out-hit Haiti .202 to .025.
North Greenville opposite Gregory Torres led all players with 11 kills on a .474 attack percentage. This was the second time in the three pool-play matches that Torres had double-digit kills.
Along with the service performance, Watts had seven kills and hit .333. Fairleigh Dickinson opposite Jamal Ellis Carballo in the victory contributed six kills and had three aces.
Puerto Rico limited Haiti (0-3, 0 points Pool A) to zero aces as Campbellsville libero Fernand Morales had a match-best 20 excellent service receptions.
Puerto Rico entered this match having already clinched a quarterfinals berth and with victory finished Pool A in second place.
The team will now play Nicaragua in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Nicaragua (1-2, 5 points Pool B) swept Guatemala on Wednesday to earn the final Pool B berth to the quarterfinals.