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Press release

Dominican Republic block the road to Puerto Rico


The fans join the celebration after the Dominican Republic's victory over Puerto Rico on Saturday

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 3, 2013 – The Dominican Republic literally blocked the way to Puerto Rico en route to a 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-21) victory in front of a big crowd at the Volleyball Palace of Santo Domingo on Saturday.

After a lopsided loss to Serbia on Friday, the Dominicans came back with new energy and did not disappoint the local fans. It was the second loss for Puerto Rico.

Led by six blocks from Candida Arias and five more by Prisilla Rivera, the Dominican side had a huge difference (16-6) in the battle at the net.

Bethania De la Cruz scored three aces to highlight her match-high 16 points while veteran Annerys Vargas contributed 13 points to the victory including two blocks and three aces. Arias and Rivera each tallied 11 points for the winning effort.

Karina Ocasio topped Puerto Rico with 14 points while Yarimar Rosa and Sheila Ocasio charted 12 and 9 points, respectively.

The Dominicans started out fast and were soon in front 8-2 behind the spikes of Vargas and De la Cruz. Puerto Rico cut the gap to 12-8 with the Ocasio sisters providing the offence. The home team arrived at the second technical time-out with a seven-point lead – carried by two spikes from Mambru – and they never looked back. The first set closed 25-14 with blocks by Arias and Rivera against McBain and Jimenez.

Puerto Rican Yarimar Rosa landed a cross-court hit to break a 7-7 tie in the second set. The hosts went into the lead at 12-11 with two terrific aces by Vargas but Puerto Rico came back again to tie the score at 14 with Karina Ocasio’s spike and her block against Rivera. At 15-all, Karina served an ace for a Puerto Rican lead. When play resumed, Karina served another winner. De la Cruz tied things up at 18 and both sides continued to battle hard. At 24-all, Karina’s hitting attempts were long, handing the set to the Dominican Republic 26-24.

Strong serves gave the Dominican Republic an 8-7 lead in the third set. After trailing 5-2, De la Cruz served two aces after a spike to tie the scores. Then Vargas broke the 7-7 tie with another ace. The home girls went on to build a six-point lead at 13-7 behind solid and consistent blocking, led by Rivera and Arias. The Dominicans arrived at the second technical timeout leading 16-8. When play resumed Puerto Rico climbed back into the match winning four consecutive points with Rosa leading the reaction. Sheila Ocasio landed a spike and Vargas missed with an attempt and the scores were tied at 19. De la Cruz hit a smash and Puerto Rico made a defensive mistake for a 21-19 Dominican advantage. Arias closed the match 25-21 with her sixth block against Karina Ocasio.


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