Dominican Republic opens NORCECA against Costa Rica on Thursday

The Dominican Republic National Senior Women’s Volleyball Team (Las Reinas del Caribe), who will debut this Thursday against Costa Rica at 6:30 p.m. (Dominican time), declared themselves ready to begin the defense of their title as champions of the NORCECA Continental Tournament 2021.

In the tournament they will compete for two places for the World Senior Championship to be held in 2022.

The team traveled to Mexico last Tuesday and completed its final training yesterday, this time with the presence of new members from the youth categories, who come to give a new face to the national team.

Some of the veterans remained resting in Santo Domingo after the trip to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, since next month they will be competing in the Pan American Cup to be played at the “Ricardo-Gioriver-Arias” Volleyball Palace.

Seven teams will compete in the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, which awards two tickets to the 2022 FIVB World Championship to be held in the Netherlands and Poland.

The teams are divided into two pools, Pool A consists of United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and Pool B is made up of reigning NORCECA champions Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and hosts Mexico.

The last NORCECA Championship was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2019, resulting champion Dominican Republic in thrilling five sets over USA 3-2 (25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-24, 15-9), their second title in the history of the tournament to win the title. The Dominicans won their first NORCECA title in 2009 defeating Puerto Rico.

The United States, the world number one team, has won a total of 8 gold, 12 silver and 3 bronze medals, while the defending champions Dominican Republic has two gold, three silver and 5 bronze medals, the two highest ranked teams registered in the event.

Cuba, the top winner of the event with 13 titles, 7 silver and 2 bronze medals, was unable to attend.

Hosts Mexico, with one gold and 3 bronze medals, Canada, which finished third in the last edition, has 2 silver and 9 bronze medals; Puerto Rico has won one silver and 3 bronze medals.

Rivera values relay

The captain of the National Volleyball Team, Priscilla Rivera, valued the presence of a good amount of young talents that have made the trip to Mexico to NORCECA.

“There is a mix of youth and veteran in our team here and that is very positive,” she commented.

He said that starting next year, the Dominican Republic team will have a mixed group of youth and veterans, and that will give greater responsibilities to the new members.

“It is not the same to be in the junior categories than to reach the senior national team where the demands are many and you have to give everything on the court,” said Rivera.

The team includes Natalia Martínez, Madeline Guillen, Estefany Rabit, Yaneirys Rodríguez, Vielka Peralta, Angélica Hinojosa and Geraldine González.

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