The United States will face Dominican Republic to defend their NORCECA Women's Championship title
Morelia, Mexico, October 1, 2015 – USA defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-17) at the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship semifinal to defend their title against Dominican Republic at the Bicentenario Auditorium of Morelia Michoacan on Thursday.
USA led Puerto Rico on all fronts with margins of 44-30 in spikes, 10-3 in blocks, and 2-0 in serves. USA committed 22 errors and scored on 19 opponent errors.
Jordan Larson-Burbach led USA with 13 points, followed by Tetori Dixon and Nicole Fawcett with 12 and 13 points, respectively. Puerto Rico’s Aurea Cruz led her team with nine points, while Alexandra Oquendo and Karina Ocasio added six points apiece.
USA coach Karch Kiraly recognised his opponents’ strength and the skill set where his team lacked punch.
“Puerto Rico worked hard,” Kiraly said. “I want to congratulate them because they defended well and forced long rallies for us to score and it was fun to play a powerful opponent. We committed many mistakes, especially on serves. We also did some things well exceeding our expectations.”
USA captain was pleased that they have partly achieved their goal but will face tough opponents in the gold medal match.
“We are very excited to be in the gold medal match, that’s the reason of being here,” USA captain Alisha Glass said. “Dominican Republic is a very tough team. They are physical and have lots of energy. Their libero is very good and they have tough offence. We need to think about our side of the court.”
Meanwhile, Dominican Republic trounced Canada 3-1 (18-25. 25-20, 25-23, 25-20) with outside hitter Brayelin Martinez scoring 22 points, including 18 kills and four blocks, to lead the Dominican offensive.
Yonkaira Pena helped out with 13 points, while Canada’s Tabitha Love top scored for her team with 14 points, followed by Dana Cranston with 11 points and Rebecca Pavan with 10 points.
Dominican Republic captain Niverka Marte and coach Marcos Kwiek had different views on the victory but both of them were glad to reach the gold medal match.
“We had a slow start,” Dominican Republic captain Niverka Marte said. “With confidence, we went on to play with better rhythm. We’ve been performing well and we are glad to be able to reach the gold medal match.”
“Today we were lucky,” Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek said. “The middle blockers did not perform well and we had too many errors. The players are tired because it has been a busy year. In the end we accomplished our second objective of reaching the gold medal match.”