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Mexico and Dominican Republic to clash for Pan Am gold

Dominican players celebrate their pass to the gold medal match in the U-20 Women's Pan American Cup in Havana on Friday night

Havana, Cuba, March 22, 2013 – Mexico and the Dominican Republic are set to play for the gold medal of the U-20 Women’s Pan American Cup on Saturday at Coliseo de Ciudad Deportiva in Havana after winning their semifinals on Friday.

Both teams had already qualified to the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship to be held in Brno, Czech Republic in June as well as the teams of Peru and Colombia that will clash for the bronze medal earlier on Saturday. Puerto Rico, who had claimed the one ticket on offer to Brno by winning Pool B of the tournament, will contest the playoff for firth with Cuba.

In Friday’s semifinals which featured all four teams from Pool A, both Mexico and Dominican Republic scored four-set victories over Peru and Colombia respectively. The two teams faced each other during the preliminary pool-play with a victory for Mexico.

The first matches of Saturday will see Costa Rica against Chile for seventh place followed by the fifth-place match.

Mexico 3, Peru 1
Mexico claimed the victory following four disputed sets with Peru (23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-19). The serves and the strong defense at the net with 15 blocks against two of their opponents were key factors driving Mexico for the first time to the final. Alejandra Isiordia and Lisbeth Sainz with 26 and 23 points respectively led the winners while the aggressive Angela Leyva stood out on the Peruvian side with 20.

Dominican Republic 3, Colombia 1
Dominican Republic defeated Colombia in a close match 3-1 (25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-16) in one hour and 48 minutes. The winners held a margin of 21-10 in blocks. Brayelín Martinez (24), Natalie Martinez (13) and Pamela Soriano (12) led the offensive of the Dominicans, while the best Colombians were Melissa Reid (18), Maria Martinez (15) and Diana Arrechea (10).

Cuba 3, Chile 0
Cuba easily defeated Chile 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-13) in 66 minutes. The home team devastated its opponent with strong and effective serves to dominate the game from start to finish with an outstanding work by Meliza Vargas with 15 points followed by Sulian Matienzo with 13. Josefa Izquierdo was the best of Chile with 9 points.

Puerto Rico 3, Costa Rica 0
Puerto Rico cruised easily for 59 minutes to crush Costa Rica 3-0 (25-10, 25-4, 25-18) and now will face Cuba for the fifth place. The Puerto Rican captain Daly Santana, stood out with their serves and froze to Costa Rica with 11 aces en route to 21 points as the top scorer of the game. Pilar Victoria added 11.


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