Dominican Republic Starts NORCECA U19 with Victory over Guatemala

PONCE, Puerto Rico, May 14, 2024. - The Dominican Republic began the NORCECA Boys’ U19 Continental Championship with a 3-1 victory (24-26, 26-24, 25-13, 25-19) over Guatemala at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Dominican Republic recovered from losing a close first set to secure the victory over Guatemala with an advantage of 47 points to 40 in attacks, 10 blocking points to 4, and 9 direct service points to 4, but committing 19 points to 15 in errors.

Starting from the third set, Guatemala’s unforced errors in reception gave the Dominicans the necessary advantage to claim their first victory in Group B.

Three Dominicans scored double digits, led by opposite Malik Britton with 19 points (16 kills, 2 blocks, one ace), outside hitter and captain Melvin De Jesús with 16 points (12 kills, a maximum of 6 aces), and outside hitter Ramón De Jesús with 10 points (7 kills, 3 aces).

The top scorer of the match was Guatemala’s opposite  Luis Mendizábal with 20 points from 18 attacks, one block, and one direct service point. Outside hitters Boris González and Omar Mendoza contributed 8 points each.

On the second day of competition, the Dominican Republic will face Costa Rica and Guatemala will play against Puerto Rico.

Melvin De Jesús, captain of the Dominican Republic: “We were hesitant because it was the first match of the tournament. Matches with Guatemala are always close. We were overconfident at the start of the match. Our serve was crucial for the victory, but we need to improve in blocking”.

Omar Mendoza, captain of Guatemala: “Honestly, I don't know what happened, we will analyze with the team and the coaches, and then correct the mistakes we made today. We participated very well, but we lacked courage. It was a good match”.