TULSA, Oklahoma, USA, July 23, 2022 – Dominican Republic won a battle with Puerto Rico 3-1 (28-26, 22-25, 25-22, 32-30) to take the bronze medal at the Girls U19 Pan American Cup at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa.
Both Dominican Republic (4-2) and Puerto Rico (2-4) qualified for the 2023 FIVB World Championship.
The teams were very close statistically. They were tied in attacks 59-59. Dominican Republic led in blocks 11-7 and Puerto Rico led in aces 12-8. Dominican Republic scored 29 points on Puerto Rico’s errors while giving up 25.
The match included a third set in which Puerto Rico held off seven match points before Dominican Republic won. In the fourth set, Dominican Republic held match point five times before winning on the sixth. Puerto Rico held set point twice.
Dominican Republic outside hitter Katielle Vargas led all scorers with 30 points on a match-high 27 attacks, two blocks and one ace. Dominican middle blocker Selanny Puente had a match-high four blocks.
Puerto Rico’s opposite Grace Lopez led her team with 28 points on 24 spikes and a match-high four aces.
Wagner Pacheco, coach of Dominican Republic: It was a tough game. We knew it was going to be this way because there is a great rivalry between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. We failed a lot, something we hadn’t been doing, but in the end they failed a little more than us. Happy very happy.
Juan Carlos Rodriguez, coach of Puerto Rico: I understand that the girls did an excellent job and we finished the tournament playing very well. Very pleased and I hope that they understand the commitment to train with dedication towards the World Cup.