Dominican Republic led pool B in the Women's NORCECA Continental Championship ©Getty Images

The Dominican Republic beat hosts Mexico and Canada prevailed against Puerto Rico to win the preliminary groups in the Women's North, Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) Volleyball Confederation Continental Championship.

The defending champions came from one set down to defeat Mexico 28-30, 25-19, 25-13, 31-29 and advance directly to the semi-finals.

In their toughest game of the tournament so far, opposite hitter Gaila González led all scorers with 23 points, including 18 kills, two blocks and three serves.

Outside hitter Bethania De La Cruz, middle blocker Jineiry Martínez and outside hitter Yonkaira Peña all topped double figures in support. 

"It was good for us such a demanding match, we needed it for our next matches after playing with less difficulty," Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek said.

"The rhythm of the tournament is bigger and now we focus on what lies ahead."

By virtue of finishing second in the pool, Mexico advanced to the quarter-finals. 

"The small details made a difference," head coach Rafael Petry reflected.

"I value my player’s performance and we will look to reach our goal to qualify for Worlds."

Canada secured the top spot in the other pool A, with a 25-17, 25-22, 24-26, 25-14 victory over Puerto Rico.

Each team in pool A - he United States being the third - finished with a 1-1 record, but Canada topped the group due to a greater set percentage.

Outside hitter Hilary Howe top scored on 19 points, while four other players reached double figures, including outside hitter Vicky Savard, middle blocker Alicia Ogoms and outside hitter Kyra Van Ryk.

Canadian captain Jennifer Cross said: "We had a great match.

"We focused on our side, and we were really aggressive. 

"We made adjustments from yesterday’s game and we played Canadian volleyball."

In the third game of the day, Puerto Rico secured a quarter-final place with a consummate 25-13, 25-4, 25-10 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Head coach Pablo Acuña said: "Our goal was to beat Trinidad, finish third and have the right to play two more games because of the competition format. 

"We are satisfied, we were focused on our serves and performing the simple things well."

In tomorrow's action, Olympic champions the US will face Costa Rica, with the winner playing Canada in the semi-finals, and Mexico and Puerto Rico will vie for the chance to face Dominican Republic.