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Dominican Republic Advances to Semifinals with Win over T&T


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, September 29, 2017 – Dominican Republic advanced to the semifinals of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 victory over Trinidad & Tobago on Friday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.


Dominican Republic improved to 2-1 and will face Mexico (3-0) in Saturday’s semifinal at 5 p.m. MT. Trinidad & Tobago (1-2) will play in a classification match for fifth-seventh place.


Dominican Republic led in spikes (44-34), blocks (6-5) and aces (4-0).


Dominican Republic opposite Pedro Garcia led all scorers with 18 points on a match-high 17 attacks and one block. Middle blocker Jose Caceres added 12 points, including three blocks.


Middle blocker Marc Honore led Trinidad & Tobago with nine points on six spikes and three blocks.


After losing the first set by seven, Trinidad & Tobago took a 7-4 lead in the second set and had the match tied at 19-19 before Dominican Republic pulled ahead. Trinidad & Tobago trailed by one at 22-21 before Dominican Republic got the win.


Dominican Republic Head Coach Gladston Samuels: "We don't block. We don't block. Sometimes good, sometimes ... up and down the same every day, but we win and I'm happy. The match was very close. I think our team is better than them technically. Our team is better, but we don't block. Tomorrow we have to play better, much better because Mexico is playing very good, very consistent. We have to play much better."


Dominican Republic Team Captain Wilfrido Hernandez: "Even though we are a young core of players with 19 and 20 and 24-year-olds, we have had a really good roll with the team and you can see the improvement through the tournament now on our third match. Yesterday we had a meeting and we talked about the need to get more players involved in the offense to have a more cohesive offensive group. Today you could see the results. We were more in sync offensively."


Trinidad & Tobago Head Coach Sean Morrison: “We didn’t play a complete game today. They need to play together. We have one point when we’re down. Then when we’re up, we’re up. I want to play a lot stronger together when we’re down; keeping the momentum high, don’t let it drop. We had a lead in the second set and we let it go. Less errors win the game and we made more errors today.”


Trinidad & Tobago Captain Ryan Stewart: “It’s not finished for us. We still have more work to do. We could still qualify for the next round. So that’s our goal now, for sure. We need to improve our counter attacks in the next match.”