Dominican Republic overcame a resilient T&T in straight sets 25–13, 25–19, 30–28 in the last match of the opening day of the Seventh Men’s Pan American Cup on Monday night. Playing at the Volleyball Palace, Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Centre, Santo Domingo, the 43rd world-ranked Dominican Republic got a match-high 19 points from opposite José Miguel Caceres followed by Elvis Contreras with 17 and Elnis Palomino with 11. Veteran captain Nolan Tash led T&T with 14 points while this country’s lone professional player, Marc-Anthony Honore scored 11. It was the second win for the host over T&T in recent months, after it defeated the “Calypso Spikers” 25–21, 22–25, 27–25, 25–19 at the Norceca Olympic Qualifiers in Long Beach, California in May.
Speaking after the match, Gideon Gickson, coach of T&T, acknowledged that the Dominicans “were more consistent than his player and therefore won.” Tash felt it was a game with great performance from both teams and “shows that T&T can play one on one with the Dominicans.” Yesterday, T&T, making its fourth appearance having finished sixth in its three previous appearances (2006-2008), was expected to face world eighth ranked Argentina before meeting Canada (#18), from 3 pm today in its final round-robin group match. At the end of the two groups round-robin series today, the pool winners will advance directly to the semifinals while the teams placed second and third will clash in cross-over quarterfinal matches in the quarterfinals on July 12. The semifinals and finals will be played on July 13-14. The eight-team competition will qualify the best ranked team, not already included in the 2013 FIVB World League, to the 2012 World League Qualification Tournament later this year.
Canada vs T&T, 3 pm
Dominican Republic vs Argentina, 7 pm
Venezuela vs Mexico, 1 pm
Brazil vs USA, 5 pm