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Puerto Rico to play Dominican Republic in semifinals


CAÑETE, Peru, June 23, 2017 – Puerto Rico advanced to a semifinal match against defending champions Dominican Republic after defeating Cuba in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-17) in a quarterfinal contest of the XVI Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup at Lolo Fernández Coliseum of Cañete on Friday.


Daly Santana finished with 20 points as the leader in the balanced offense of Puerto Rico spread out by the dynamic setter Natalia Valentin, the captain of the team. Pilar Marie Victoria, Jennifer Quesada and Shirley Ferrer added 10, 9 and 8 points, respectively, in the victory.


Cuba’s Heidy Casanova and Regla Gracia finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss.


It was the fifth overall victory for Puerto Rico in the competition after going 4-1 in Pool A. The Dominicans dominated Pool B with a 5-0 mark without losing a single set.


Natalia Valentin, Captain of Puerto Rico: “We lacked rhythm at the start of the match but later on with more concentration and following the technical instructions from the coach we were able to climb back to win the third set without any difficulties.”


Javier Gaspar, Coach of Puerto Rico: “I want to congratulate the team of Cuba because is young and with a lot of power. Today my team came back from less to more and following the tactical plan they could win the match.”


Sulian Matienzo, Captain of Cuba: “I want to congratulate Puerto Rico because they did a great job on the court and that is the reason they won. We didn’t have the concentration to keep the advantage in the score.”


Wilfredo Robinson, Coach of Cuba: “First of all I want to congratulate the great job done by Puerto Rico to reach the semifinals. From our side. I just say we complied with our objective of preparing this young team for future competitions. We have five players from the U20 team and I believe in the long term work we are doing.”