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Dominican Republic wins battle against Puerto Rico


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 6, 2016 – Hosts Dominican Republic subdued Puerto Rico in straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-23) in a decisive match between undefeated teams in Pool A at the XV Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup in front of a full house at Ricardo Arias Gymnasium on Wednesday.


A full house crowd of about 6,000 spectators watched the home team recover from a sluggish start in the first set and command the match the rest of the way. The Dominicans advanced directly to Saturday’s semifinals while Puerto Rico will play Argentina in Friday’s quarterfinals.


Brayelin Martinez and Gina Mambru carried most of the offensive load of the winners with 17 and 14 points, respectively, while libero Brenda Castillo played superb defense. Bethania De la Cruz chipped in with 10 points and Annerys Vargas added 8, including four blocks.


Karina Ocasio and Stephanie Enright had 15 points each for Puerto Rico, while veteran Aury Cruz tallied eight.


“The 3-0 score don’t tell the real story as it was a close match with a lot of intensity,” said Marcos Kwiek, the coach of Dominican Republic. “We play with regularity and won the crucial points.”


“We didn’t execute the way we have planned,” Puerto Rican coach Juan Carlos Nunez said. “We made too many errors in the first set and then the Dominican team used its powers from the corners to attack over our blocking.”


“The focus and mental strength were a big factor today,” Mambru said. “Now I have a more important role in our team and the hard work is paying off. I am really happy with this victory.”


“We couldn’t execute,” Puerto Rican Yarimar Rosa said. “Wefailed too many serves and lacked communication. We were not able to close the sets and it happens every time against the Dominican Republic.”