HERMOSILLO, Mexico, July 23, 2023.- Dominican Republic remains the U23 Women’s Pan American Champions winning the gold medal match to Mexico 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-12, 26-24) on Sunday at the Sonora Arena in Hermosillo, Mexico.
This was the second consecutive time that Dominican Republic beat Mexico in the championship match of the event. Dominicans won first place undefeated (5-0), earning their sixth U23 Pan American Cup title and Mexico (4-1) won their second silver medal.
Dominicans led in blocks by a huge 14 to 5 advantage, a comfortable 8 to 4 margin in points from serves and scored on 28 unforced opponent errors while giving up 14. Mexico did better in attacking points 51 to 49.
The dramatic match point came from Ariana Rodriguez, whose service dropped over the net.
Outside hitter Flormarie led Dominican Republic with 18 points (17 kills, one ace), followed by outside hitter Madeline Guillen who produced 16 points (14 kills, two blocks) and opposite hitter Alondra Tapia with 13 points (9 kills, three blocks, one ace).
Mexico’s outside hitter Sofia Maldonado was the top scorer of the match with 21 points (20 kills, one ace) and opposite hitter Katherine Ramírez added 15 points (13 kills, one block, one ace).
Flormarie Heredia, top scorer of the Dominican Republic: “We reached our goal, and I feel very happy for the effort of the whole team, each one fought hard. The decisive factor was the support among us and following the instructions of our coaches”.
Wagner Pacheco, coach of the Dominican Republic: “That last point from the serve was surprising. The team felt a lot of pressure from the crowd, and we struggled a lot. But we remain champions”.
Luis Alberto, coach of Mexico: “I’m happy because most of the players on the team are from the under-21 category , and we continue preparing for the world championship in August. I am satisfied with the team’s performance against a very good opponent that has been working together for a longer time. In the last set, some bad decisions cost us two or three actions. It was a surprise to see the last two plays from the Dominican Republic, with the libero’s defense and the final point from the serve that dropped over the net”.