Dominican Republic advances to semifinals beating Mexico

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 28, 2021.- Defending champion Dominican Republic beat Mexico 3-1 (28-30, 25-19, 25-13, 31-29) advancing to semifinals of the Women’s NORCECA Continental Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Dominicans earned a direct spot into the semifinals of the event that gives two vacancies to the 2022 FIVB World Championship, after winning pool B with a perfect 3-0 win-loss record. Mexico will play (2-1) the quarterfinal round against Puerto Rico (1-1) that finished third in pool A.


Mexico started aggressively while Dominicans never lost confidence to recover from a six-point deficit (15-21) in the first, but came off short, losing three set points. Dominican Republic came back with strength forcing a four set finish on five match points as Mexico attackers pressured stronger for an intense finish.


Dominican Republic led their offense by a 61-49 advantage and a slim 3-2 margin in serves, both teams scored 9 points in the blocking category; Dominicans committed 31 unforced errors and Mexico a total of 36.


Dominican opposite hitter Gaila González led all scorers with 23 points on 18 kills, 2 blocks and 3 serves. Other three Dominicans also scored double-figures, outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz with 17 points, joined by middle blocker Jineiry Martínez and outside hitter Yonkaira Peña who registered 14 points apiece.


Opposite hitter Andrea Rangel topped Mexico with 20 points; outside hitter Samantha Bricio scored 18 points and middle blocker Jocelyn Urías collected 13 points.


Prisilla Rivera, Captain of Dominican Republic: “We push ourselves, it doesn’t matter who is our opponent. Today showed how much they have improved, they didn’t give away anything, it was an intense match, a high level of play and it was a good learning experience for both teams. Now we must think of our next match”.


Marcos Kwiek, Coach of Dominican Republic: “It was good for us such a demanding match, we needed it for our next matches after playing with less difficulty. The rhythm of the tournament is bigger and now we focus on what lies ahead”.


Jocelyn Urías, Captain of Mexico: “We really want to win and that is we played our hearts out, we showed we’re here to win. Dominican Republic knew how to press in key moments and it was their turn to win”.


Rafael Petry, Coach of Mexico: “The small details made a difference; our recovery in the fourth set was excellent but nevertheless Mexico had a good performance. I value my player’s performance and we will look to reach our goal to qualify for Worlds”.