Venezuela sweep Dominican Republic for fifth place at Barranquilla

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, August 2, 2018.- Venezuela swept Dominican Republic in straight sets 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-11) for fifth place of the men’s volleyball tournament at the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games in Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Both teams performed with little energy, lacking of their accustomed strong rhythm and scoring offense over the net, contrary when they met in pool-play in a stronger contest. Venezuela developed better, blocking any intentions from Dominican Republic.

Venezuela prevailed on 30-18 margin in attacks, a huge 10-3 blocking advantage as well as 8-3 in aces. Venezuela scored on 27 opponent errors and finished with 13 of their own.

Venezuela won with balanced scoring by middle blockers Edson Valencia and Jose Verdi with 8 points apiece, opposite Luis Arias scored 7 points, and opposite Jesus Gomez along with wing spiker Ronald Rayola added 6 points each. Opposite Pedro Garcia led Dominican Republic with 9 points, wing spiker Henry Lopez and middle blocker Richi Paulino chipped in with 8 and 7 points accordingly.

Ronal Sarti head coach of Venezuela spoke about his general conclusions of the tournament saying “this was a good result, despite the emotional factor that normally influences in these placing matches, but I believe our opponent was worse than us; we must also work in the psychological part of the game. We started the event very strong against Cuba, it was really challenging, they were the favorites and well prepared. Against Mexico was more accessible but we had too many errors. The decisive pool-play match against Dominican Republic was totally different than this one, it was hard physically and mentally but we managed well. In the qualifier round, we faced Colombia for almost three hours; they have improved a lot and they knew how to seal the match. We will take these results to improve in the future”.

Venezuelan Jose Gutierrez, coach for Dominican Republic indicated these matches are difficult emotionally speaking “the concentration wasn’t the same, the performance neither; I don’t like this because a professional athlete must play every point with the same energy and responsibility. This is natural in our countries, it’s unfortunate to settle for less and these are things we must work on the bases back home.  With three months working with the team, I’ve seen that this team was not constructed well starting from the minors, you suffer the consequences when you’re at the top of the pyramid; there are deficiencies to work on in this group despite the good result four years ago, things weren’t well built and to remain at a high level you must start from the bottom. Yes we have experienced players but two of them will retire this year and the others that play aboard don’t bring what we need”.