Dominicans hit big blow to USA, go after gold medal


Tijuana, Mexico, October 12, 2013 – The Dominican Republic advanced to the gold medal match of the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship Open following a straight-set (25-21, 25-21, 27-25) victory over the United States at the Baja California High Performance Center on Friday.


The athletic Dominicans dominated the match with their powerful spikes and good overall defence and now are waiting for the winner of the contest between China and Japan.


Brayelin Martinez led the winners with 21 points, followed by Yonkaira Peña who tallied 11 points. Jeoselyna Rodriguez and Candida Arias chipped in with 8 and 7, respectively.


McNeal Sha’Dare and Gina Mancuso finished with 12 and 11 points for the defeated side, while Ariel Turner, Erika Wilson and Hayley Hodson added 9, 8 and 7 points.


Brayelin Martinez, captain of Dominican Republic: We are very happy. It was a very important match to aspire for the gold medal and tomorrow we will fight for it. We worked really well in the first two sets. The third one was more complicated but at the end we won it.

Gina Mancuso, captain of USA:
 Congratulations to Dominican Republic. It was a great battle. They are a very athletic team. Team USA wouldn’t give up, but unfortunately it didn’t happen for us tonight. The most important thing for USA is that we can still fight for a medal.


Marcos Kwiek, coach of Dominican Republic: We are very glad for this victory and for qualifying to the finals. We had some objectives we have achieved (to get in the semis and finals). We have taken things seriously in order to know what we have and what to do. These are very young girls but very disciplined and with a lot of experience in age-group competitions. We have celebrated for the victory, and now we have to prepare for our rival in the final.


Karch Kiraly, coach of USA: Congratulations Dominican Republic. You played a great match. It is good for both teams. It was a great hard fight. Especially they came out very strong to start with. We tried to battle back in the second set, in third set, a nice hard fight. That’s what good volleyball is all about.