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Dominicans crowned at home with fourth gold medal


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 10, 2016 – Hosts Dominican Republic outpowered Puerto Rico in the tie-breaker of the gold medal match to claim their fourth title in the history of the Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup by defeating Puerto Rico 3-2 (23-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 15-6) in front of some 6,500 spectators at Ricardo Arias Gymnasium on Sunday.


It was the fourteenth all-time medal for the Dominicans, who also have seven silver medals and three bronzes. Puerto Rico attained their first silver ever to go with two bronzes.


Brayelin Martinez and Bethania de la Cruz registered 30 and 24 points, respectively, to spearhead the solid attack of the home side. Annerys Vargas finished with 9 while Yonkaira Peña and Gina Mambru had 8 points each.


Stephanie Enright topscored Puerto Rico with 19 points, and Karina Ocasio and Daly Santana had 13 points apiece.


“It is a thrilling victory for us in front of our fans,¨ said De La Cruz. “We needed a great deal of concentration and big hearts in the fifth set when our serves, blocking and counterattacks were decisive.”


“It was what you expect from a final match between two big teams,” said Marcos Kwiek, the coach of Dominican Republic. “Probably not a clean technical game, but a real battle and Brenda (Castillo) proved to be a key for us in a decisive defensive role.”


Yarimar Rosa, captain of Puerto Rico: “It is our first silver medal and we are happy with it. I think we had a better match-up against the Dominicans than other times. We couldn’t win the fifth set and it is something we have to learn of.”


Juan Carlos Núñez, coach of Puerto Rico: “It was probably our best match of the tournament but also against the top ranked team. The key was in the fourth set when (Brenda) Castillo was able to save some difficult balls. In the tie-breaker, they really tightened the defense and got the win.”