Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 17, 2012 - In recent years the Dominican Republic has been quietly improving, moving up the standings and emerging as a competitive volleyball nation in the Americas. This has been reinforced by their qualification for the FIVB World League playoffs, which they earned through a bronze-medal performance in front of a home crowd at the VIIth Pan American Cup.
Under the guidance of new coach Osiel Vazquez of Cuba, they qualified with a five-set victory over a young and promising Brazilian squad that lasted 2 hours and 14 minutes. The side barely missed the FIVB 2010 World Championship when they relinquished a two-set lead and lost to Mexico for the last remaining NORCECA spot in the competition.
The Dominican Republic are currently 45th in the FIVB world rankings, but that positioning can be misleading. The team has experience, skill, and the potential to upset higher-placed teams.
“Our players have accepted the challenge with dedication and they have worked very hard in our training,” said Vazquez. “Now we have to take that to the competition. The serves and attacks of Caceres and Elvis Contreras are our main weapons but the supporting cast is very important and they have had a responsible training period.”
Captain Jose Caceres is the team’s anchor. The 30-year-old opposite player, ironically nicknamed “Little Nail”, is a towering 2.10 metres tall. He has played professionally in the leagues of Spain, France, Puerto Rico and Italy. His style combines terrific attacking power with solid defense at the net using his impressive reach. He helped CAI Teruel reach the championship of the 2011 Spanish Super League and the King’s Cup. Caceres was the best scorer of the 2012 Men’s Pan American Cup.
Backing up Caceres is Elvis Cantreras, the most international player of the Dominican Republic men’s team and at 33 one of the most experienced. The wing-spiker has performed in Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Russia, and has recently signed to play for Zaksa K?dzierzyn-Ko?le in the Poland League. The best receiver and best server in the 2012 Pan American Cup, Contreras won consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006 for VfB Friedrichshafen of the German League and also won with Tonno Callipo Vibo Valentia in the A2 Italian League in 2008.
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|Our players have accepted the challenge with dedication and they have worked very hard in our training|
The Dominican Republic are currently 45th in the FIVB World Ranking