OMAHA, Nebraska, September 20, 2013 – Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico 25-18, 26-24, 19-25, 25-21 Friday evening to earn a spot in the 2013 Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship gold-medal match on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT.
Dominican Republic will play the winner of tonight’s second semifinal match between host United States and Canada in the gold medal. Dominican Republic has reached the title match in each of the last three editions of the biennial championship, including its only gold medal in 2009. Puerto Rico will challenge the second semifinal loser in the bronze medal match at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday.
Bethania de La Cruz sparked Dominican Republic with a match-high 24 points and Gina Mambru Casilla added 16 points. Puerto Rico was paced by Karina Ocasio’s 20 points and Stephanie Enright contributed 13 in the loss.
Dominican Republic won the battle at the net with a 13-7 block advantage, along with a 61-53 margin in kills. Puerto Rico scored a 5-1 advantage in aces.
Dominican Republic Coach Marcos Kwiek: “We’re very happy with making it to the final. That’s what we came here to accomplish. Although we made some errors, we will have enough time to prepare for tomorrow’s match.”
Dominican Republic Captain Bethania de La Cruz: “Our matches against Puerto Rico are always exciting and always tough. We needed to maintain our composure and our concentration to execute our game plan.”
Puerto Rico Coach Jose Mieles: “We always have tough matches against Dominican Republic. It seems like we have yearly battles. Our team did what it was supposed to do, although I’m not 100 percent satisfied. We didn’t get the victory. It was still a good performance.”
The Puerto Rican captain was injured during the match and not available to comment.