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Dominicans top preliminary round, claim ticket to world championship

LIMA, Peru, September 23, 2016 - Two-time defending champions Dominican Republic scored a convincing straight-set 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-17) victory over hosts Peru to claim the top position at the conclusion of the preliminary round of the U23 Women’s Pan American Cup that took place at Manuel Bonilla Coliseum of Lima.

The Dominican side qualified to next year’s FIVB World Championship to be held in Slovenia.

Brayelin Martinez fired a match-high 21 points to spearhead the offense of the winning side, followed by Gaila Gonzalez and Jineiry Martinez with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Angela Leyva, who has scored 35 and 25 points in the two previous matches, slowed down and finished with 15 points as the best Peruvian scorer. The winners held advantages in spikes (39-29), blocks (10-5) and aces (4-2).

Wagner Pacheco, coach of Dominican Republic: “It was a very good match for us because I feel we played at the level we wanted to. Now this serves a lot because in the semifinals is when the tournament really starts with very strong teams. What we want to do now is to play the way we did today, with order and a lot of discipline. We are relaxed because we achieved the first goal, now the tough part is next.”

Brayelin Martinez, captain of Dominican Republic: “The whole team knew we were going to play a tough opponent like Peru, so we prepared very special for the match and everything came out the way we wanted. Now we have a complicated match against Cuba in the semifinals and we have short time to prepare. I hope everything comes out the way we think and get that victory. Thanks to God we finished atop of the standings and that gives us some relax.”

Mauro Marasciulo, coach of Perú: “It was a tough match and the mistakes caused us to lose the rhythm and the Dominican got confidence. Tomorrow we will define against Argentina, the ticket to the finals and the berth to the world championship which is our goal.”

Angela Leyva, captain of Peru: “It was a weird match but we have to turn the page and concentrate on tomorrow’s match. We have to go out and give everything to win, have a good game and get the ticket to the world championship.”