San Jose, Costa Rica, May 7, 2017 - All nine coaches of the teams competing at the Women’s U20 Pan American Cup expect tough days ahead as only two teams – the top ranked NORCECA and top South American team – will be granted a berth at the FIVB Women's U20 World Championship in Boca del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico from July 14 to 23.
It will not be an easy task to progress to the quarterfinals and stay on track for a berth at the FIVB World Championship, as coaches remarked on the eve of the competition. Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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Guillermo Caceres, Argentina: "This is an important competition; it always has been, with experienced teams. We will do the impossible to qualify to the World Championship. According to the tournament, we are well prepared; we came to the city of Cartago to adapt to the weather and schedule; we played with Costa Rica’s senior team and other local teams."
Eduardo Guillaume, Chile: "We played a friendly series against Dominican Republic which allowed us to improve a lot. If teams could have the chance of competing more, they would evolve at a higher level; playing marks a difference. This team is different from the youth team; it’s harder to gather the players for practice because they study in college. The team is ready to battle."
Mario Romero, Costa Rica: "It’s an honour to host a competition of this level and we welcome all the teams. It doesn’t matter which tournament it is, we always play with responsibility and we always give our best. We know it’s a competitive event, with the best teams of the continent and Costa Rica will be looking to advance into the next round."
Wilfredo Robinson, Cuba: "Our ambition is to win the ticket to the World Championship, as all the teams here. This is the same team that played the NORCECA championship in the United States, we haven’t had much practice since then, we haven’t played any other tournament, but our desire to be in the World Championship is strong. Our players are young and the event contributes to their growth as players."
Wagner Pacheco, Dominican Republic: "This is a new generation of players from the one who won the World Championship. We are already qualified to the worlds, but our responsibility here remains the same, our goal is to win. This tournament is a good chance to measure our game level because one of my players is coming out of an injury, one is injured and we lost our opposite player. The preliminary round will be very hard, we are in the same pool as the United States and Argentina, both are looking to qualify to the worlds and for me they are among the favourites to win the Pan Am Cup."
Marco Queiroga, Peru: "We are expecting a highly competitive tournament, there are very good teams here and we are glad to be in this important event. This is the best team of its generation in the last years in Peru; physically and technically well built. They’ve earned a lot of experience in our national league and that’s why we are confident in winning the ticket to the World Championship, as well as reaching the final stage here."
Julio Melendez, Puerto Rico: "Our goal is qualifying to the World Championship for which we are well prepared; the girls are focused on this objective and have their minds set on doing so. Hopefully there will be no injuries and that way we will reach our goal."
Jerritt Elliott, United States: "It´s a big tournament for us. We have to get organised and see if we can get out of pool play; we have got a very tough pool with Argentina and the Dominican Republic. We welcome the opportunity and will put our best foot forward."
Gerardo Peralta, Uruguay: "Our preparation was short, three months of hard work and we are aware of the importance of this event. This is the first time we qualify to a U20 Pan Am Cup, with the option to qualify for a World Championship. We are super motivated, with lots of energy and we have made many efforts to be here; we will face our opponents one on one."