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USA and Dominican Republic earn NORCECA semifinal tickets

 
Omaha, Nebraska, September 19, 2013 – Defending champions USA and Dominican Republic earned direct tickets to the semifinal phase of the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship as pool winners with the best ranking at the conclusion of the pool play.

Puerto Rico, the lowest ranked pool winner will play Mexico in Thursday’s quarterfinals while Canada meet Trinidad & Tobago.

In Wednesday’s action USA Beat Cuba 25-9, 25-13 25-12 while Dominican Republic defeated Trinidad & Tobago 25-13, 25-20, 25-13. 

In the other match of day three, Puerto Rico edged Canada in a thrilling see-saw five-setter.

Puerto Rico 3, Canada 2
Puerto Rico trimmed Canada 19-25, 28-26, 25-23, 13-25, 15-8 to win Pool C with a 2-0 record and eight points, while Canada concluded the stage in second place with a 1-1 record and seven points. Canada finished the pool stage in second place and will play in the quarterfinals versus Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday. 
Karina Ocasio led Puerto Rico with 21 points and Aurea Cruz followed with 20 points. Puerto Rico captain Yarimar Rosa contributed 17 points in the victory. Canada was led by Jaimie Thibeault’s 17 points, while teammates Tabitha Love and Lisa Barclay produced 16 and 15 points, respectively. Puerto Rico held a 62-53 margin in kills, but Canada held significant advantages in blocks (14-10) and aces (7-4). Further, the Canadians benefited from 33 Puerto Rican errors and held their own errors to 24.

Dominican Republic 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Dominican Republic swept Trinidad & Tobago 25-13, 25-20, 25-13 on the final day of pool play. With the victory Dominican Republic captured Pool A with a 2-0 record and 10 points. Trinidad & Tobago, which ended the group stage with a 1-1 record and three points, will play in Thursday’s quarterfinal round as the second-place team from Pool A. Bethania de La Cruz led Dominican Republic with 18 points, including four aces and four blocks. Prisilla Rivera added 12 points and Annerys Vargas Valdez contributed 10 points. Trinidad & Tobago was paced by Channon Thompson’s 10 points and Krystle Esdelle chipped in nine points. Dominican Republic benefited from 25 Trinidad & Tobago errors while limited its own miscues to seven for the match. Dominican Republic held margins in all three scoring categories: 35-30 in kills, 7-5 in blocks and 8-4 in aces.

United States 3, Cuba 0
The United States used an 11-2 block advantage to defeat Cuba 25-9, 25-13, 25-12 to conclude Pool B. The U.S., the defending champion of the biennial NORCECA Championship, won Pool B with a 2-0 record and 10 points. Cuba, the youngest team in the nine-team tournament field with an average age of 19.7, ended pool play with a 0-2 record with two points. They will play in the 7-9 classification round starting with a contest versus St. Lucia on Thursday. The U.S. was led by Lauren Gibbemeyer’s 13 points that included a team-high five blocks. Kelly Murphy added 11 points in the victory. Cuba was topped by Jennifer Alvarez and Melissa Vargas with five points each. The United States held a 41-18 advantage in kills and 6-1 margin in aces during the match. The Americans, ranked No. 2 in the world, limited their errors to 13 for the match.



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