Canada Takes NORCECA U17 Bronze and Last Ticket to FIVB Worlds defeating Dominican Republic

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, November 26, 2023. – Canada won the bronze medal and the last ticket to the 2024 FIVB World Championship over the Dominican Republic 3-1 (28-30, 28-26, 25-23, 28-26) in the first edition of the NORCECA Girls’ U17 Championship in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Canada finishes the tournament 4-1 and qualifies for the 2024 FIVB World Championship as one of the three finalists. Dominican Republic finishes 3-3.

This was Canada’s second time defeating Dominican Republic in the event, also in three sets in pool-play.

Canada outscored the Dominican Republic with a 53 to 46 advantage in attacking points and 10 to 7 in points from serves. The Dominicans led in blocks 13-11 and made fewer unforced errors, 35 to 39.

Natalie Wahlgren CAN

Middle blocker Ella Hope led Canada as the top scorer of the match with 26 points on 17 kills, 4 blocks, and 5 aces. Dara Obeid, also middle blocker, contributed 17 points on 13 kills and 4 blocks. Outside hitter Alexia Corneo collected 11 points on 9 kills and two aces.

For the Dominican Republic, the leading scorer was outside hitter Virelys Rivera with 16 points on  13 kills, 2 blocks, and oneace. Opposite hitter Isabella Cerda and team captain Estel Santos added 16 and 14 points, respectively.

The match was a party of points with teams trading the lead. All three sets had a dramatic finish. Canada bounced back from the loss in the first set, using short touches that unsettled the Dominican Republic and then using targeted serving. Canada recovered from a three-point deficit (21-24) when the Dominican Republic was one point away from forcing a tie-break, with Dasia Smith serving and kills.

After the victory, Canada’s coach Amy Wilson said, “We knew the Dominican Republic was going to come out real tough and we knew that we have to stay patient through the roller coaster. We had played the Dominican Republic before, so we stuck to our game plan with a few little tweaks and it worked for us”.