Dominicans to clash United States in NORCECA title match
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, October 12,
Dominican Republic to clash USA for the NORCECA Women’s
Continental Championship title after tie-break semifinal win
3-2 (19-25, 25-14, 26-24, 21-25, 15-8) over Puerto Rico at
Roberto Clemente Coliseum of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
This is the fourth title match between Dominican Republic
and United States (2011, 2013, 2015); the U.S. has won on
all three occasions. Puerto Rico will face Canada in the
bronze medal match.
In the semifinal match, it was a first rollercoaster set
with intensity and speed on both sides. The host started on
top with a comfortable lead, while Dominicans performed more
freely to pocket the second; but the battle of the third set
kept the crowd on their toes as Puerto Rico recovered from
22-24 but lost 26-24. Finally in the fourth, Puerto Rico
gained control again, extending to the tie-break controlled
entirely by Dominican Republic.
Both teams scored on 56 kills and 4 aces; the difference was
Dominicans 14-10 margin in blocks and scoring on 32 opponent
errors against 26.
Dominican Republic balanced their scoring offense led by
outside hitter Brayelin Martinez with a match-high of 22
points, middle blocker Lisvel Eve contributed with 16 points
including a match-high of 7 blocks, while middle blocker
Jineiry Martinez recorded 14 points and outside hitter
Bethania De La Cruz 13. Puerto Rico’s middle blocker Diana
Reyes led with 16 points followed by outside hitter
Stephanie Enright and opposite Paulina Prieto scored 14
Brayelin Martínez, leading scorer of Dominican Republic: “We
aware it was going to be hard, we didn’t expect five sets
but they did a great match and it was a great duel. We were
anxious and we also committed many errors in crucial
moments, Puerto Rico took advantage well and being at home,
they grew and it became tougher to face. Tomorrow will be
tough, United States is fast and we will go out to play for
the gold medal”.
Marcos Kwiek, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “We were
expecting a fight. We failed a lot, mostly on serves, we
could have won much calm but it still was a win”.
José Mieles, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We never will
settle to lose; it’s hard to reach a fifth set against
ranked seven of the world and at home. I am sad, I thought
we had the chance to beat them but being behind four points
in a tie-break is very hard to recover. We still haven’t won
a medal and we hope it will happen tomorrow and we’ll have
our moment against Dominican Republic in January”.