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MORELIA, Mexico — Canada’s quest for a NORCECA women’s continental championship came to an end on Thursday after falling in four sets to the Dominican Republic in semifinal action.

The Dominican Republic defeated Canada 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 to reach the gold-medal match and will face the United States, which beat Puerto Rico in the other semi.

Canada had an early 6-2 lead in the first set with good blocking and scoring on Dominican Republic errors. The Dominicans pushed hard with serves to tie 8-8, but Canada kept up its effective blocking to go ahead 14-10, before taking the first set 25-18.

After that, however, the Canadian side couldn’t find any consistency in their game and gave up the next three sets.

“Our blocking executed well in the first set, after that we had ups and downs,” said Canadian captain Brittney Page. “We needed to make better choices while spiking, we were too inconsistent.”

The Dominicans held a huge advantage overall in spikes 51-35, while Canada had a 13-12 margin in blocks and 2-1 in aces. The Dominican Republic scored on 29 Canadian errors but gave away 38 points from its own.

Canada’s top scorer was Tabitha Love with 14 points, followed by Dana Cranston with 11 points and Rebecca Pavan with 10 points.

“We started aggressive but our serves failed in the second set making it easier for Dominicans to score, they have more experience and are more clever,” said Canadian coach Arnd Ludwig. 

The Canadian Press

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