Italy (ITA) vs. Dominican Republic (DOM) women - Pool B #6505744

The lean opposite Alondra Tapia, standing at 1.93 meters tall, returned to Santo Domingo this past February after three years of studying in Japan to join the Dominican Republic national team competing at the FIVB Women’s U21 Volleyball World Championship in León and Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The 19-year-old Tapia studied in Japan for three years after receiving a scholarship from the Furukawa-Gakuen High School, thanks to the Women’s Volleyball National Team Project in the Dominican Republic.

“The idea of going to Japan came as a surprise to me, when representatives from the Furukawa-Gakuen High School came to our training center in Santo Domingo to observe us in order to grant a high school scholarship and play with their team at the collegiate volleyball league,” said Tapia.

The tournament is streamed live on the Volleyball World YouTube channel.

She explains that they first chose three players, gave them different jerseys from the rest of the team, and observed them in several training sessions.

"Without seeking it, I was the one chosen to go to Japan,” she says with a laugh. “I spoke to my parents and moved to Japan to live the best experience of my life”.

Alondra Tapia achieved an incredible feat, as over 1,832 schools competed in the collegiate league this year, and she led her school to win the championship after a 23-year drought. With her outstanding performance, she was elected the Most Valuable Player.

\*\*2023 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U21 World Championship: Match Schedule and Results\*\*

Brazil (BRA) vs. Dominican Republic (DOM) women - Pool B #6494258

Alondra Tapia high five were her teammates before facing Brazil

“The challenge of learning a new language, adapting to a different culture, and doing what I love (volleyball) is invaluable. It taught me a great lesson, and now I plan to return to Japan to continue my studies while playing volleyball” she added.

Tapia started practicing volleyball at the age of 13, joining the Women’s Volleyball project in Dominican Republic, and at that young age, she was already part of the national team, competing in youth and junior continental and regional championships.

“In 2021, I competed in my first Volleyball World Championship in Durango, at the U18 Worlds, and from there, through my time playing volleyball in Japan, I have improved a lot, little by little, and gained experience in the junior teams and now in the senior team”.

Alondra was called up to be part of the “Queens of the Caribbean” team to compete in the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL), where the Dominicans finished in eleventh place.

Quick links:
FIVB Volleyball Women's U21 World Championship
Subscribe to Volleyball World's Newsletter