Puerto Rico overcomes Dominican Republic in five sets 


September 06, 2019:   It took five sets, but a young Dominican team was defeated by the more experienced Puerto Rico 2-3 (25-23, 14-25, 25-21, 23-25, 6-15) at the 2019 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.


Puerto Rico finishes fifth overall in the tournament.


Captain Maurice Torres had 27 points for Puerto Rico (including four aces), and Pelegrin Vargas had 19.


Dominican captain Henry Omar Tapia was again very impressive for his team – 33 points, including six ace serves (the opposite set a Dominican record earlier in the competition with eight serves in one match). Jonathon Mercedes contributed 22 points for the losing side.


The result puts Puerto Rico in a position to qualify for the Olympic qualifier in January, as the US is already qualified for the Olympics, and therefore the Puerto Rican team is among the top four eligible here.


The Dominican team must now play a classification match for places 6/7 against Guatemala on the final day of the tournament.


Puerto Rico's head coach, Oswald Antonetti:

“I am happy with the result.  When a team loses as we did her, you have to break that chain.  We are building character with some of our younger players and we have to be patient with that.  We look forward to preparing for the Olympic qualifier in January. “


Dominican Republic, head coach, Jose Alexander Gutierrez: 

“I am not disappointed because we knew this would be a difficult match. We didn’t have the experience in the end to close the match.  This is the problem when you have a very young team.  The result shows us that we are on the right path. 


For us, it was a great competition.  We never expected to play against teams such as Puerto Rico and Mexico like we did.  They have many players with experience internationally.  Most of our players are under 21 years old.  We have more work ahead of us.”