Bari, Italy, October 4, 2014 - Thanks to Thursday’s 3-1victory against Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic got closer to berth in the third and final round of the 2014 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship.
The Queens of Caribbean’s well-known top scorer was Bethania De La Cruz, who did score 16 points but was less dominating than what she had shown in the last six matches.
“Every day is a challenge in itself and you must be good at getting to know your rival”, she said. “This was not my best match. Azerbaijan responded with a good block defense, making this match harder than the ones played so far. However, I did not give up and tried my utmost. What matters in the end is that the team won.”
Bethania was one of the best jumpers in this World Championship. When she attacks, she can even reach 330 cm in height and 320 cm at blocking. After two rounds of play in the second phase, she ranked third among all scorers with 132 points (114 attacks, 11 blocks and 7 aces).
“We are playing a great tournament. We will have the chance to rest on Friday and get ready for the last two matches of this Pool. We still have to face two more significant challenges against China and Japan: there you will find out what we are made of”, she declared.
After maternity leave in 2009, Bethania returned to competitive action in 2010 and led the national team to win the Final Four Cup. She had also claimed gold medals at the 2008 and 2010 Pan American Cups before starring at the 2011 World Cup, where she was named Best Scorer and Best Server.
Since 2013, De La Cruz has been given the captaincy of the team. She is a real Volleyball Ambassador representing Dominican Republic in the world. Following various club spells in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, the 27-year-old spiker will be joining Turkey’s Eczacıbaşı Spor Kulübüin Istanbul after this World Championship, featuring her first appearance in a European League.
“It is definitively an opportunity to get more experienced. I have been playing in Korea recently, where pursuant to the rules sports clubs are allowed to recruit only one foreign player. Lots of Champions are playing in Europe and I am really keen to face them”, she said.
“A future in Italy? – [smiles] – Por Que No? (Why not?)”, she replied.