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Volleyball - 15. August 2012.

USA claim gold at NORCECA Girls' Championship

The United States claimed the gold medal at the NORCECA Girls' U-18 Continental Championship by defeating the Dominican Republic 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15) on Saturday night.

In the match for the bronze medal, Mexico overcame Puerto Rico in five sets (25-23, 22-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-13).

The top three placed teams are qualified to the FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship to be played next year in Thailand.

Simone Lee recorded 18 points for USA while MVP Carli Snyder registered 17. Christian Jones chipped in with 10 points. Dominican Brayelin Martínez, the best scorer of the tournament, finished with a match-high 24 points. Gaila Ceneida González and Natalia Martínez added 12 and 11, respectively.

Mexico’s Fernanda Guitron had a match high 18 points in the bronze medal match. Jocelyn Urias and Fernanda Bañuelos added 17 and 13, respectively, while Melissa Romero and Diana Valdez had 12 each. For Puerto Rico, Genesis Miranda was the leading scorer with 19 points, followed by Jocelyn Kuilan with 18 and Julymar Otero with 17.

“Dominican Republic played very well, they are a very good team, well coached and fought really hard,” USA coach Reed Sunahara said. “I’m very proud of my team. We never gave up. We lost the first set but we fought back. Our defense played better, that was the key.”

“We’ll keep working hard to overcome all the difficulties we experienced here,” Dominican Republic coach Ariel Sainz said. “The third set was very important. We were so close. USA did a great job and didn’t make mistakes.”

“I am glad to achieve this goal, we qualified to the World Championship,” Mexico’s coach Estanislao Vachino said. “I didn’t want a five-set match, but we had to play it with some ups and downs. It was a well contested match and anybody could have won it.”

Final positions:

1. United States
2. Dominican Republic
3. Mexico
4. Puerto Rico
5. Guatemala
6. Trinidad & Tobago
7. Costa Rica

Individual awards

MVP:  Carli Snyder  USA
Best Scorer:  Brayelin Martinez DOM
Best Spiker:  Brayelin Martinez DOM
Best Blocker: Daniela Vargas  CRC
Best Server: Fernanda Bañuelos MEX
Best Setter: Taylor Tashima  USA
Best Receiver: Kimberly Gutierrez MEX
Best Digger: Kimberly Gutierrez MEX
Best Libero: Kimberly Gutierrez MEX
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