Dominican Republic wins bronze at U21 Championship

Toronto, Canada. June 30, 2024: Dominican Republic won the third-place match today over host Canada at the Women’s NORCECA U21 Continental Championship at the Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

After two very close set battles, Dominican Republic took control of the third set, sweeping Canada 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-16).

Dominican Republic led in attack points, 38-30, blocking was even at 7, serving favored the winning side 11-4, but Dominican Republic made a couple more errors 21-19.

Ariana Rodriguez Fung led all scoring with 17 points, five of those coming from ace serves.

Sophia Hansen, Claire Carter, Ella Piskorz, and Maëli Cormier added 8 points each to Canada’s effort.

Head coach of Dominican Republic’s team, Cristian Cruz, was satisfied with the outcome today: “I’m very happy with the medal, but we could have done even better. We lost to Puerto Rico and in the semifinals, we had to play the United States. But I am happy with third place, and I am proud of this team’s performance today.”

Dominican opposite Ariana Rodriguez Fung said after the match: “I felt we really concentrated on our serve receive and our efficiency on attack. We knew they were a tall team and we wanted to aim high. They blocked us a few times but what mattered is how we recuperated from the point. We stayed concentrated throughout the whole game and came out with the victory. This win means a lot because we’re a small country and we used all our volleyball skills get the job done and represent our country.”

Canada head coach, Olivier Faucher, said: “Dominican Republic team’s profile is one that we haven’t faced in this tournament so far. They are more physical than Puerto Rico and Mexico, so it was a different match-up for us. It was a good battle in the first two sets – we came to play. Block defense was good, but we just couldn’t convert some opportunities. It’s something we have to learn – finding ways to put the ball away when we have the chance.  .. We gave them too many opportunities…. It’s part of the learning process for these athletes in their pathway to competing at a higher level.”