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
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
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
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.”