The Dominicans held off a resilient Mexico in a five-set match (25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 23-25, 15-9) that lasted 1 hour, 51 minutes while the Peruvians recovered from dropping he first set to defeat Colombia 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-12, 29-27) at Eduardo Dibos Coliseum in Lima.
For both winning teams it was a sweet revenge for the defeats they suffered last March in Havana at the U-20 Pan American Cup when Mexico beat Dominican Republic for the gold medal while Colombia defeated Peru in the match for third place.
“It was a great way to start the tournament,” Brazilian coach of Dominican Republic Wagner Pacheco said. “Our tactical serve and strong blocking carried us today.”
Gaila Gonzalez had 22 points to lead the Dominicans while Pamela Soriano added 17. Mexico’s Alejandra Isiordia finshed with a match-high 28 points and Lizbeth Sainz contributed 19.
The winners built a 23-14 margin in the blocking category with Gonzalez and Angelica Hinojosa each totaling six. Jineiry Martinez added five.
Angela Leyva topped Peru with 23 points followed by Ginna Lopez and Milagros Rodriguez with 14 and 12 respectively. Danna Escobar charted 18 points for the defeated side.
“We already knew the Colombian team after the bronze medal match in Havana and today was our time to win,” Peruvian Leyva said. “Now our team is complete and with the mentality to attain big goals.”
In Friday’s schedule Dominican Republic goes against Colombia while Peru takes on Mexico. At the end of the round-robin, the teams in the top two places will play for the gold medal and the sides in third and fourth for the bronze on Sunday.
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