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Dominican Republic to play for gold at Women's U23 World Champs

Big Brayelin Martinez scored 21 points to lead the victory of Dominican Republic over USA in consecutive sets on Friday
Tijuana, Mexico, October 12, 2013 – The Dominican Republic advanced to the gold medal match of the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship Open following a straight-set (25-21, 25-21, 27-25) victory over the United States at the Baja California High Performance Center on Friday.

The athletic Dominicans dominated the match with their powerful spikes and good overall defence and now are waiting for the winner of the contest between China and Japan.

Brayelin Martinez led the winners with 21 points, followed by Yonkaira Peña who tallied 11 points. Jeoselyna Rodriguez and Candida Arias chipped in with 8 and 7, respectively.

McNeal Sha’Dare and Gina Mancuso finished with 12 and 11 points for the defeated side, while Ariel Turner, Erika Wilson and Hayley Hodson added 9, 8 and 7 points.

Candida Arias scored four points as the Dominican Republic took an 8-4 lead in the first set.  McNeal Sha’Dare and Brayelin Martinez traded a couple of spikes going en route the second technical time-out and a 16-11 score. The first set concluded at 25-21 with Yonkaira Peña producing the last four points for the Dominican side.

Martinez broke a tie at 7-all with a powerful spike. McNeal tied it at 8-8 but Martinez and Peña produced two big hits for a 10-8 Dominican lead. The scored equalized at 11-all when Hodson landed her spike followed by an opponent error. Big hits by Jeoselyna Rodriguez and Martinez sent the Caribbean team into a 16-13 advantage. United States closed the gap to 19-17 behind Sha’Dare. Gaila Gonzalez came off the bench to score the last two points of the set for a 25-21 score.

The Dominicans led 8-7 following a duel between Martinez and Mancuso. USA went into the lead 10-9 when Tuner blocked Rodriguez and Sha’Dare landed her spike. The second technical time-out saw the Dominican team in front 16-15. At 18-all, Ariel Turner scored with a tip and the spike of Rodriguez was out of bounds for a 20-18 USA advantage. Two attacking errors by Hodson and Mancuso evened the score at 21-all. The Dominicans took the set and the match when Peña landed a big shot and Turner’s attack sailed long for a 27-25 score.


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