CALI, Colombia, November 27, 2021. - Mexico won
a five-set thriller over Dominican Republic 3-2
(25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 18-25, 16-14) to advance
into the semifinals of the men’s volleyball
tournament at the I Junior Pan American Games
Mexico remains undefeated with 2-0 record and
will decide first place in pool B against
Brazil, while Dominican Republic has two losses
Mexico won the first two sets and then struggled
against Dominican’s strong offense forcing a
decisive fifth set. Mexico outblocked Dominican
Republic by a comfortable 12-7 margin; they also
led 61-53 in kills and 7-3 in aces. Dominican
Republic committed fewer errors (27-38) than
Four players led Mexico’s victory, outside
hitter Josué López topped with 17 points
including a match-high of 5 aces, opposite
hitters Diego González and Luis Hernández
contributed with 13 points and 12 points
respectively, while middle blocker Victor Parra
chipped in with 11 points.
Opposite hitter Rafael Almonte of Dominican
Republic scored a tournament-high so far of 29
points, on 26 big kills, 2 blocks and one ace.
Also from Dominican Republic, outside hitter
Daniel Feliz scored 15 points and outside hitter
Bryan Turbides tallied 12 points.
Mexico (2-0) closes the preliminary round
against Brazil (2-0) and Dominican Republic
(0-2) against Chile (0-2).
Josué López, top scorer of Mexico:
“We started really well, focused and united; but
we were overconfident and they read our game
better. We closed the win after a chat before
the fifth and that motivated us”.
Jorge Azair, head coach of Mexico:
“Our over-exceed confidence made us anxious,
then things weren’t right, we started to commit
errors and we think that just by standing things
will solve by themselves. Dominican Republic’s
floated serves made the boys lose concentration,
they aren’t used to them and then we began to
worry. Our team effort and our substitutions did
pretty well to finish the game. Tomorrow will be
a great match against Brazil”.
Rafael Almonte, top scorer of Dominican
“We lacked concentration in the last points; in
the end we failed in counter-attack not that
Mexico had their merit. We are all young and
this is a great experience for our next
Alexander Gutiérrez, head coach of Dominican
“To play five sets against Mexico who have
played together the entire year is really good
for our young team; and because they are young
their insecurity forces them to commit errors,
they have to believe they can do things. I
believe we are on the right track and Dominican
men’ volleyball is growing”.