The Dominican Republic claimed their fourth consecutive women's volleyball gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games following a straight-sets 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-19) victory over Puerto Rico at Arena Cordoba on Thursday.
The Dominican Republic, who are ranked sixth in the world and finished fifth at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 this summer, outblocked Puerto Rico 15-4 with Prisilla Rivera and Annerys Vargas scoring five and four blocks respectively.
Bethania De la Cruz led the winners with 14 points while Rivera and Vargas contributed 13 and 10 points. Puerto Rico's Aurea Cruz had a match-high 17 points in the loss.
Dominican star Brenda Castillo, selected as best receiver, best digger and best libero, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
"We always had that goal (winning the gold medal)," said Marcos Kwiek, the Brazilian coach of the Dominican team. "This is a team of hard workers, not a team of stars. If you want something you have to work to get it."
"We are very happy about this victory," De la Cruz said. "It is the best way to close the year with the gold medal here after the fifth place at the World Championship."
In the match for the bronze medal, Cuba edged hosts Mexico 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13) with Melissa Vargas leading the victory with 26 points.
In other matches, Venezuela outplayed Colombia 3-2 (36-34, 21-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-13) for fifth place and Costa Rica defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 (25-19, 25-13, 17-25, 25-18) for seventh position.