DOMINICAN REPUBLIC produced a stunning upset when the curtain fell recently on the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Under-18 Female Volleyball Championships in Costa Rica.
The US were attempting to capture their seventh successive title in this biennial, tournament, but were beaten 21-14, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20 by the Caribbean girls. The North Americans had won seven of the eight titles in this tournament, with their only other loss coming in the final against Puerto Rico in 2000, two years after the inaugural edition.
About a week before this tournament served off, the Dominican Republic senior team had prevented the US from capturing a hat-trick in the Women’s Pan American Cup by upsetting them for the gold medal in Mexico.
The top three teams qualified for next year’s World Under-18 Championships and Mexico claimed the final place when they defeated Puerto Rico 26-24, 25-20, 19-25, 25-19 for the bronze medal. Costa Rica earned fifth place with a 25-18, 25-14, 25-18 triumph over Guatemala.
After losing their group matches against Costa Rica and Guatemala, three-time defending Caribbean champs Trinidad and Tobago ended up seventh when they dismissed Honduras in straight sets on Saturday.
Skipper Reann Young was game’s leading scorer in all three T&T matches, including a joint tournament high 19 points in the victory over Honduras. St Lucia finished at the bottom in the nine-country tournament.