Gold Fever Spreads throughout Dominican Female Program in 2016
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, December16, 2016 - The gold
fever caught the entire Dominican program from top to bottom as
its teams captured all regional titles in all age-group
divisions in 2016.
Those triumphs were triggered by the victory attained by the
Dominican female team one year earlier at the U20 squad at the
2015 FIVB World Championship held in several cities of Puerto
They started with a gold medal in the U18 International Division
at the 43rd Amateur Athletic Girls Championship in
Orlando, Florida with victory over Brazil in the final match on
En route to the title, the Dominicans downed teams from
Slovenia, Mexico, China, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Colombia.
The Dominican girls continued their successful streak at home by
winning the prestigious intercontinental Pan American Cup on
July 10 with a dramatic five-set victory over Puerto Rico
sparked by a 30-point performance by MVP Brayelin Martinez.
They continued their victorious path claiming the U20 NORCECA
Championship in Fort Lauderdale with a four-set victory against
hosts United States on July 31. Natalia Martinez took home the
award as MVP of the tournament.
The month of September was particularly good for the Dominican
female squads as they added two more jewels to their collection
for the year.
On September 7, they rallied from a 0-2 deficit to defeat the
United States in five sets to claim the gold medal at the U18
NORCECA Championship held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The promising Natalia Martinez, who reserved astonishing
performances of 33 and 29 points for the two five-set victories
over USA in the tournament got her second MVP award of the year.
Three weeks later on September 25 at San Vicente de Cañete in
Peru, the Dominican Republic captured its third consecutive U23
Pan American Cup with a straight set victory over Argentina.
Brayelin Martinez, who had won the MVP honors in the 2014
edition, once again received the award as the top player of the
Besides those continental and intercontinental wins, the
Dominican Republic fought back from 0-2 down against Poland to
snatch the FIVB Grand Prix Group 2 with a 3-2 (21-25, 23-25,
25-18, 25-20, 15-11) victory in Varna, Bulgaria on June 19 and
complete their return to Group 1 and the best teams in the
The journey home was a triumphant one for the team prompting a
warming congratulations message from no less than the President
of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina.
“Thanks for providing new joy to the Dominican people who
follow with interest the performances of the team," said Mr
Medina in a letter of congratulation. "I want to salute and
congratulate each one of the players, on behalf of the
government and personally, for their outstanding effort
obtaining seven consecutive victories in the competition,” he
President Medina also congratulated Brayelin Martinez for her
stand-out performance as the top scorer in the Dominican team.
After losing their first match in five sets to Bulgaria, the
Dominican side went on to win seven matches in a row against
Argentina, Kenya, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico
“I want to congratulate all
the girls. They did a lot of work and we are very happy now. It
was actually teamwork. Everybody pulled their weight,” said
Brazilian coach Marcos Kwiek.
His top performers Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez (24 points) and
Bethania De La Cruz (19 points) were instrumental in securing
victory in the final.