Dominicans advance to semifinals despite loss to Thailand
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, September 15, 2017 – Dominican Republic
secured a spot in the semifinals of the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23
World Championship in spite of losing a seven-set duel with
Thailand on Friday at Arena Stozice.
It will be the third consecutive appearance for the Dominican
Republic at the Final Four of the competition. They won a silver
medal in the inaugural edition in 2013 and claimed the bronze
medal in 2015.
Thailand scored a remarkable 4-3 (9-15, 12-15, 15-12, 11-15,
15-12, 15-11, 21-19) win to remain hopeful for a spot in the 5-8
Despite their loss, the 'Queens of the Caribbean' join Slovenia
in the top four. The hosts had already qualified since the
previous evening. The Dominicans had sealed their ticket after
taking their third set for a 3-1 lead.
Gaila Gonzalez led the Dominican Republic with 27 points,
followed by Vielka Peralta and Jineiry Martinez with 15 points
apiece. Madeline Guillén finished with 14 in the loss.
Thailand's Thanacha Sooksod registered a tournament high of 32
points, which is also a competition record regardless of scoring
system used. She is only the third player to break the 30-point mark in
the history of the Women's U23 World Championship, after 31
points by Italy's Valentina Diouf in 2013 against Egypt and 30
by Egypt's Aya Elshamy on the opening day this year against the
Dominican Republic coach, Wagner Pacheco: "We
are really, really happy with proceeding to semifinals. This
really means a lot for our country, but on the other hand we are
disappointed with our performance today."