2018 Women’s U23 Pan-American Cup
- August 14th-19th, 2018
- Lima, Peru
The Dominican Republic won its 4th-straight Women’s U23 Pan-American Volleyball Cup last week in Lima, Peru. That makes the Dominicans a perfect 4-for-4 in the history of the tournament, which has been held every-other years since 2012, with each edition being hosted in Peru.
The team took the title by sweeping Peru 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-18) in front of 3,000 fans a the Manuel Bonilla Coliseum in Miraflores.
The overwhelming Dominican effort took only 1 hour and 14 minutes to complete. They were led by captain Brayelin Martinez, a 6’7″ outside hitter; and 6’2″ opposite Gaila Gonzalez, both of whom are already members of the Dominican senior national team as well. Martinez was the 2nd-leading scorer in the entirety of the FIVB Nations League tournament earlier this year.
The pair scored 16 each in the championship match, while Peru was led by 10 from 17-year old Kiara Montes.
Peru had 23 unforced errors, as compared to only 12 for the Dominicans. The DR also had 8 blocks in the match.
“We expected to cross in the final with Peru, and we knew it could be a complicated game but we followed our coach’s strategy of play,” Martinez said. “A good receipt and block to deactivate his main attacker, Lobatón. We are happy for this fourth medal and it motivates us to continue training and working hard for our new challenge, the Senior World Championship in Japan.”
Cuba defeated Mexico 3-1 in the bronze medal game.
The tournament was the first step in the qualification process for the 2021 FIVB U23 Women’s World Championship. The Dominican Republic and Cuba automatically qualify as the top 2 NORCECA teams in the tournament, while Peru earns the automatic bid as the top-placing South American team.
The rest of the field would have to be the top FIVB-ranked team not invited to the tournament via continental qualifiers. Brazil, who is the #1-ranked U23 women’s team in the world, didn’t participate in the tournament; nor did the US, which doesn’t participate in U23 competition.
Tournament Dream Team
- MVP: Gaila Gonzalez, Dominican Republic
- Best Setter: Shiamara Almeida, Peru
- Best Opposite: Gaila Gonzalez, Dominican Republic
- Best Middle Blocker: Jineiry Martinez, Dominican Republic
- Best Middle Blocker, Valerine Carabali, Colombia
- Best Outside Hitter: Vielka Peralta, Dominican Republic
- Best Outside Hitter: Brenda Lobaton, Peru
- Best Libero: Esmeralda Sanchez, Peru
- Best Receiver: Brenda Lobaton, Peru
- Best Digger: Esmeralda Sanchez, Peru
- Best Scorer: Uxue Guereca, Mexico
Final Tournament Standing
- Dominican Republic
- Costa Rica