The end of the 2021 international season will mark the end of an era for the Dominican Republic’s women’s national team as longtime team captain Prisilla Rivera has announced she’s set to leave the sport.
A member of her country’s national team since 2001, the 36-year-old Rivera is currently training with her teammates in Santo Domingo and will appear at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League at the end of the month and the Tokyo Olympics in July and August.
Her final competition with ‘Las Reinas de Caribe’ (The Queens of the Caribbean, in Spanish) will be the 2021 Pan-American Cup, which will be played in Santo Domingo, in October.
Rivera was a member of the roster that represented the Dominican Republic at the Olympics for the first time in the country’s history at the Athens 2004 Games. The Caribbeans went on to finish 11th before returning to the Olympics eight years later to finish fifth at London 2012.
“I couldn’t believe it, it felt like a dream which I couldn’t wake up from,” she said about her experience in Greece in 2004. “For us to be at the Olympics, it felt so unreal. I was too young and I remember that I kept asking myself ‘what I am doing here?’.”
Rivera has represented the Dominican Republic in international tournaments for the last two decades and besides the two Olympics, she has also appeared in four editions of the FIVB Volleyball World Championships, the FIVB Volleyball World Cup and two FIVB Volleyball Nations Leagues.
She was part of arguably the best moments for Dominican volleyball in the period, helping the team win the bronze medal at the 2009 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup and secure victories at the 2003 and 2019 Pan-American Games, besides two triumphs at the NORCECA Championship.
Her club career has also been extremely long and successful as Rivera has played professionally in her home country, Spain, Puerto Rico, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Italy, Brazil and Hungary. Besides several national titles in the Dominican Republic and Spain, she also secured a gold medal at the 2006-2007 CEV Cup with Spanish side Murcia.
FIVB Volleyball Nations League
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020