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NORCECA Women's Championship begins with wins for Puerto Rico, Canada, Dominican Republic
Hosts Puerto Rico, Canada and defending champions Dominican Republic all picked up victories as the 2011 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship got underway at Hector Sola Bezares Coliseum in Caguas on Monday.
The eventual champions will move onto the 2011 FIVB Women's World Cup in Japan from November 4 to 18, with the top three teams qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Puerto Rico breezed past Costa Rica 3-0 (25-8, 25-12, 25-10) in the last match of the night while earlier on Canada defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 (25-15, 28-30, 25-22, 25-11) and Dominican Republic swept past Panama 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-15) in just 63 minutes.
USA, Mexico and Cuba are set to begin their campaigns on Tuesday.
Puerto Rico v Costa Rica
Puerto Rico trounced Costa Rica 3-0 (25-8, 25-12, 25-10) in Pool A's opening match on Monday. The eventual winners registered an astonishing 17-0 difference in the aces category with well located serves as Costa Rica struggling in reception for the whole match.
Amanda Vasquez, Aurea Cruz and Stephanie Enright registered 13, 11 and 10 points respectively for Puerto Rico. Enright totaled five aces while Vasquez, Cruz and Vilmarie Mojica each recorded three. Verania Willis and Catalina Fernandez were Costa Rica's best scorers with five points apiece.
Canada v Trinidad and Tobago
Sarah Pavan recorded a match-high 23 points as she led Canada to a 3-1 (25-15, 28-30, 25-22, 25-11) victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Pool B. Three other Canadian players finished the match in double figures as Sherline Holness scored 18, including six blocks, and Kyla Richey and Marisa Field added 13 and 11 respectively. Trinidadian Krystle Esdelle scored 20 points as teammate Rheeza Grant collected 11 for the side. However it was not all bad news for Trinidad and Tobago as it was the first time that the side had won a set against their North American rivals.
Dominican Republic v Panama
Defending champions Dominican Republic outclassed Panama in straight sets (25-12, 25-10, 25-15) in Pool C's first match. Dominican Dahiana Burgos was the only player to reach double figures with 11 points while Bethania De la Cruz and Sidarka Nuñez each registered nine points. Panama’s Joana Arroyo finished with seven points. The winners succeeded on eight blocks to Panama's one, with Cindy Rondon recording three blocks among her seven points. Panama is returning to the regional competition after a 25-year hiatus.