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Mexico triumphed again in a five-setter

MEXICALI, Baja California, June 7, 2006.- Jose Martell scored five points in the tie-breaker and Mexico won a second five-setter in as many days by defeating Dominican Republic 23-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 15-12, in the First Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup. With the victory the host Mexicans advanced to the semi final phase as winners of Pool A with a 3-0 record.


Ivan Contreras was the top scorer of Mexico with 24 points and Martell and Gustavo Meyer contributed with 18 and 12 respectively. Dominicans Elvis Contreras and Jose Caceres had 27 and 26 points and Eury Almonte added 12. “


The matches against Dominican Republic are always a battle and this was not the exception,” said Jorge Azair, the Mexican coach. “We beat them in El Salvador in 2002 in five sets and they defeated us in four sets last year in Canada. We blocked very well in the last two sets and that was a key for the triumph. We are very happy and now we will have to days of a well deserved rest.”


The Dominicans led 8-4 and 16-12 in the first set behind the strong spikes of big Caceres. Mexico came back and narrowed the gap at 18-17 with solid attacks from Meyer and Contreras, but at 24-23, Caceres responded with block for the set. In the second set, Mexico built a two-point lead (9-7) with two aces in a row by Carlos Guerra and still was ahead 16-14 in the second pause, with solid attacks produced by the lefty Martell.


The Dominicans reacted with spike and block by Caceres to come close at 18-17 but Martell and Contreras restored the order with consecutive spikes and the Mexicans took the set.


The Dominicans took an 8-5 lead in the third and Mexico came back to tie it at 10-all. The Dominicans responded with a rally of five points that included three spikes of Caceres and two aces by Contreras clearing the way for the rest of the leg.


The fourth set was a tough battle through midway with both teams exchanging the leads until Mexico took a 16-13 advantage, with blocks by Meyer and Guerra, that never was in danger.

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