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Press releases
Dominicans aim to keep climbing
Tokyo, July 31, 2007: Statistics don’t lie, so there is no doubt that the Dominican Republic is heading in the right direction. Twelfth on their World Grand Prix debut in 2004, the Dominicans improved to 11th in 2005 and eighth last year on the FIVB’s annual women’s tour.

The target of head coach Beato Cruz in the 2007 edition, therefore, is just to keep moving forward. “In the Grand Prix this year we are aiming for seventh place,” Cruz said, during a training camp in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, before the team headed for the official hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday. “Of course it would be great if we could go to the final round in China as one of the best six teams, but we know this will be difficult. “Brazil, Italy, Russia, China…there are many strong teams in the competition, but we have the possibility to win some matches.”

Ranked 14th in the world by the FIVB, the Dominicans will start their fourth World Grand Prix campaign with games against Cuba, Japan and Kazakhstan at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo this weekend. In order to prepare for this crucial opening phase, the Dominicans arrived in Japan on July 26 and have been based at Ageo, 35 kilometers north of the capital. With world No. 4 Italy (twice), No. 3 China and second-ranked Brazil coming up in later rounds, Cruz knows it is vital to get some early wins if they hope to qualify for the finals in Ningbo, China, from August 22-26.

“Our first game is against Cuba,” he said. “It’s a difficult start but we have a chance to win. Cuba beat us 3-0 in the Pan American Cup in Mexico recently, but we beat Cuba 3-0 in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia last year. We know them well. “The Japanese have a very fast attack and are strong in fielding, but we have a lot of power in serve and attack. “As for Kazakhstan, I have seen them play only on video, and I think blocking will be very important in this game.”

Cruz said that Kazakhstan, on their Grand Prix debut, plus Poland and Chinese Taipei in later rounds offered the best chances of a Dominican win, with Cuba and Japan more difficult but not out of reach. Already this season his players have been picking up individual awards in the Pan American Games and Pan American Cup, notably the prolific Bethania de la Cruz and middle blocker Cindy Rondon, both 18, and libero Carmen Rosa Caso.

But these are veterans compared to Brenda Castillo, who turned 15 as recently as June 5. “She is in the first year of high school and is a reception specialist,” says Cruz. “This is her third tournament after the Pan American Cup and Pan American Games and she has shown no nerves whatsoever. She has played very well when given the chance.”

With plenty of youth around, plus the experience of Annerys Vargas, Milagros Cabral and captain Cosiri Rodriguez, the Dominicans will be hoping to keep going up in the world at the 2007 World Grand Prix.


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24.08.2007 Netherlands march toward first FIVB World Grand Prix title  
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22.08.2007 Brazil, Italy, Netherlands claim opening wins at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals  
21.08.2007 Top teams to charge at Grand Prix final round at Ningbo, China  
21.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Ningbo. The press conference before the start on Wednesday  
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20.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round: match schedule for the six contenders  
19.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: the best six go to Ningbo  
16.08.2007 Pre-battle announcement by teams in taipei pool  
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09.08.2007 China women's team and China veteran women's team reunion in Hong Kong  
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09.08.2007 Japan - Chinese Taipei: the rematch after the 2006 big result  
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08.08.2007 Dutch on the way up, says Selinger  
08.08.2007 Russia debuts as organizer of a World Grand Prix pool: press conference  
05.08.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: Cuba, Brazil and Russia are the first ladies after the starting week end  
05.08.2007 World Grand Prix 2007: third and last day of games in Poland  
04.08.2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: second day of matches in Poland  
02.08.2007 FIVB World Grand Prix in Poland – Friday matches preview  
02.08.2007 World Grand Prix 2007 tournament in Poland: "Ready to play"  
02.08.2007 Cubans have golden glow ahead of Grand Prix  
01.08.2007 Hot stuff in Japan  
01.08.2007 Kazakhstan prepare for Grand Prix debut  
01.08.2007 Brazil still favourite in the opening Grand Prix clash in Verona  
01.08.2007 Italy ready for the Grand Prix debut. Barbolini targets the finals  
31.07.2007 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix: 12 of the world best Women's teams ready to challenge  
30.07.2007 Tokyo braces for Typhoon Nancy  
27.07.2007 Olympic memories spur Omura  
26.07.2007 Seven Olympians in Japan’s Grand Prix squad  
25.07.2007 China sets target at World Grand Prix: to enter top three  
29.06.2007 Volleyball Association of Hong Kong welcomes sponsor “HK Health Check” for the FIVB World Grand Prix  
28.06.2007 Dominican Republic and Brazil qualified to FIVB World Grand Prix  
26.06.2007 Cuba and USA qualified for 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix  
18.06.2007 TBS launch Grand Prix countdown  
23.05.2007 Cuba and the Dominican Republic to play in China in preparation for the 2007 World Grand Prix  
22.05.2007 Chinese team's plans for the 2007 season  
16.05.2007 World MVP targets top teams  
21.03.2007 Marco Bonitta appointed new head coach of the Polish National Women's team  
22.01.2007 Kazakhstan to debut in 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix as replacement for Thailand  
22.01.2007 Kazajstán debutará en el Grand Prix Mundial 2007 reemplazando a Tailandia  
26.10.2006 FIVB President announces Ningbo as host of 2007 World Grand Prix final round