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Dominican Republic Stuns Mexico with 3-0 Semifinal Win


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, September 30, 2017 – The Dominican Republic stunned Mexico, 25-20, 25-23, 25-23 in the first semifinal of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship on Sept. 30 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.


With the victory, Dominican Republic qualified for the 2018 FIVB World Championship and will play in Sunday’s gold medal match. Mexico will play for bronze against either the United States or Canada. The top three finishers qualify for the world championship.


Dominican Republic played tough defense, blocking tough and working hard to dig Mexico’s attacks. Dominican Republic led in spikes (36-35), blocks (9-6) and aces (9-5).


Dominican Republic outside hitter Wilfrido Hernandez led his team with 14 points on nine spikes, four aces and one block. Opposite Pedro Garcia and middle blocker Jose Caceres each added 13 points.


Dominican Republic took an early lead in the first set and never gave it up. The second set was tied 18-18 when Dominican Republic pulled ahead on a serving run by Francisco Abreu. The third set was tied 23-23 when Dominican scored on Mexico’s net violation. Garcia ended the match with a cross-court spike.


(Mexico did not make itself available for a post-match interview)


Dominican Republic Head Coach Gladston Samuels: "I'm very happy. They block. They fight. They have high spirits. They were focused. They played very well. Very exciting match. This is the first time they go to the World Championship. Never did they go there, this is the first time. Very good for them.”


Dominican Republic Team Captain Wilfrido Hernandez: "This is the first time we've gone to the World Championships since 1979, if I'm not mistaken. I am very happy and very excited because of the work that we've done. We worked very good together. When I play volleyball I forget everything, my problems, and I just enjoy the game."