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LIMA, Peru – The Trinity Western women’s volleyball team, representing Canada, dropped its first game of the U-23 Pan American Cup to Dominicana, falling 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-20) at Miguel Grau Coliseum Monday.

The Spartans, who were playing in their first official game since earning a fifth place finish at last year’s CIS national championship and first match donning red and white, had an impressive third set – keeping it close throughout with a strong Dominicana side – but that was the brightest spot in what was a tough opening match for the Canadian contingent.

“For most of my players this is their first international experience and today we played against a very talented team in the Dominican Republic who were very physical with great jumping ability,” Trinity Western coach Ryan Hofer said. “It is a learning process for us.”

Trinity Western was led by Amy Ott (Leschied) (East Selkirk, Man.) and Royal Richardson (Rocky Mountain House, Alta.), who each had four kills while Alicia Perrin (Creston, B.C.) finished with a team-high three blocks and Kelci French (Okotoks, Alta.) had nine running sets and three kills.

First-year outside hitter Sophie Carpentier (Ottawa, Ont.) had a game-high three aces to go along with three kills in just two sets.

The Dominicans held an overwhelming advantage of 40-18 in attacks and committed just 18 errors to 25 by the Spartans. Dominicana also outblocked the Spartans 8-6 but it was Trinity Western with five service aces to the Dominicans two.

Yonkaira Peña and Lisvel Eve registered 17 and 14 points respectively as the top scorers for Dominicana. Jeoselyna Rodriguez contributed 8 points and Candida Arias added six.

“I think we played a little bit below our best,” Dominican Republic’s coach Marcos Kwiek said. “The change of weather has affected some of us since we are coming from a very hot place. Our goal for the next two matches is to continue winning and minimize our errors.”

Trinity Western will take on host Peru Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. PDT) and Costa Rica Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. PDT) to round out pool play.