Puerto Rico's Vaqueros Outlast Houston's Young Guns For 12 Club Gold
HOUSTON, Texas – Last year the Vaqueros Bayamon team left the Boys Junior National Championship with silver medals, this year that same hungry Puerto Rican squad will be leaving with gold medals around their necks.
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Vaqueros squared off against a familiar foe in Monday’s 12’s club gold-medal match, as they battled with Houston’s own Young Guns from the Lone Star Region. It looked like the two teams were poised for a photo finish after the first set went down to the wire, with the Puerto Ricans holding on 25-22.
“We have a good team, because they know how to adjust,” Vaqueros head coach Angel Perez said. “We had to adapt to their best player.”
They adapted at just the right time it seems, as the Puerto Ricans won in resounding fashion in the second set, 25-11, to claim the match and the gold medal.
Monday’s showdown marked the third-consecutive year Vaqueros and the Young Guns faced each other in a medal match, but the Young Guns head coach Sean Carter doesn’t mind the frequency.
“I love playing Vaqueros,” coach Carter said about the matchups. “Their culture celebrates volleyball, so it’s great to play a team that respects the game that much.”
When asked if his team was satisfied with a silver medal at this year’s BJNC, coach Carter quickly shook his head. “We aren’t satisfied, my guys wanted to win,” he said. “This is the first year that we haven’t been playing against kids that are older than us, so we wanted to win gold this year.”
While walking to the medal podium, Vaqueros’ head coach Perez was already thinking about the future.
“We are already talking about next year,” coach Perez said with a smile. “We know these guys are good so we are looking forward to it.”
With both coaches looking ahead to next year, we should be looking forward to "Vaqueros-Young Guns: Part IV."