HERMOSILLO, Mexico, August 28, 2022.- Dominican Republic won their fifth Women’s Pan American gold medal defeating Colombia 3-1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-16) on Sunday at the Sonora Arena in Hermosillo.
The Dominican Republic also won the Women’s Pan American Cup title, in 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016. For Colombia, this is their first silver medal and second medal in the history of the event, having won the bronze medal in the past edition in 2019.
Dominicans blocking and service points seized Colombia by comfortable 14-9 and 4-0 margins respectively. The Caribbeans also led by a close 56-51 attacking advantage and scoring on 22 South American errors against 19.
Outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz scored a match-high of 23 points on 21 kills and two points from blocks in Dominican Republic’s gold medal victory. Opposite Gaila Gonzalez also contributed to the winning effort with 15 points from 11 kills, one block and three aces, joined by outside hitter Yonkaira Peña collecting 14 points from 12 kills and two blocks.
Three players also led Colombia’s attackers, outside hitter Ana Karina Olaya with 17 points on 16 kills and one block, outside hitter Amanda Coneo with 13 points on 10 kills and three blocks, and middle blocker Yeisy Soto tallied 10 points.
Niverka Marte, captain of Dominican Republic: “We have screamed and celebrated a lot, I am so happy and proud of my team. I am part of a team of leaders that doesn’t allow anyone to play bad because we are always pushing each other. Colombia has a fierce team, they never give up and we respect them, we faced a great opponent that played well and stood up to us. The joy and team union from the first day of the tournament is what gave us the crown today”.
María Alejandra Marín, captain of Colombia: “This is our first Pan American Cup final, we are happy and hoping for many more to come; we knew it was going to be hard. Colombia did its job, but things didn’t come out, it was a battling second place. We won the first set because we were tactically organized, the rest of the game we committed too many errors, we learn from everything”.
Marcos Kwiek, head coach of Dominican Republic: “After no concentration in the first set, we focused on what we had practiced, studied, and prepared for the game. I believe our discipline was key to win the game. The sets we lost during the tournament were all close, we must be more aggressive from the start”.