Puerto Rico won the bronze in a thriller
MONTERREY, Mexico, December 22, 2007.- Puerto Rico resisted a
come-from- behind surge of its rival and beat Dominican Republic
in a sensational match for the bronze medal at the Norceca Women’s
Olympic Qualifier. The scores were 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 15-25,
Puerto Rican Sarai Alvarez was the best scorer of the match with
30 points. Aury Cruz had 22 and Eva Cruz 10. Meanwhile, Dominicans
Bethania de la Cruz and Sidarka Nunez had 26 and 20 points
respectively, Annerys Vargas scored 14 and Cosiri Rodriguez 10.
“We are very proud about this victory against a team we had not
beaten since 2005 while playing about 15 times,” said Juan Carlos
Nunez, the Puerto Rican coach. “The win is also important because
there is the possibility of getting an invitation for the
repechage in Japan next year.”
“It was a great game and you have to give credit to the team of
Puerto Rico that played good volleyball,” said Beato Miguel Cruz,
the Dominican coach. “We started playing bad but could recover to
tie at 2-all and everyone saw the intensity in the fifth set. They
(Puerto Ricans) played better in the key moments.”
In the first set Puerto Rico built a commanding lead of 19-14 with
a five-point rally sparked by setter Vilmarie Mojica and kept the
margin the rest of the way.
Eva Cruz broke a tie at 22-all with a quick attack and scored the
next two points of her side sending Puerto Rico to a 25-23 victory
in the second set.
Dominican Republic came from behind (21-23) to take the third set.
Annerys Vargas scored to tie at 23-all and blocked for the lead. A
too long attack by Sarai Alvarez gave the win to the Dominicans,
who had new life from Sidarka Nunez off the bench.
The Dominicans came back strong and dominated the fourth set where
the left-handed Nunez was brilliant with her powerful spikes.
Two spikes by Aury Cruz decided the tie-breaker in the fourth
match-point for her side after battling against a rival who had
five chances to score the victory.