June 25, 2003 - Eight teams from the American Continent will dispute the second women's Volleyball Pan American Cup in Saltillo, Mexico from June 30 to July 5 with the top four finishers winning berths for the 2004 FIVB World Grand Prix.. The top South American team will also qualify if one does not finish in the top four.
USA, Brazil, defending champions Cuba, Dominican Republic, Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and México are the participating sides in this edition, an official event of the NORCECA Confederation.
All these teams are sending their full squads to the competition in Mexico as they warm-up for the Pan Am Games and the NORCECA Tournament to be played in Santo Domingo in August and September respectively and also for the $1 Million World Grand Prix in Italy starting on July 23.
“All the super powers of America will be present in Saltillo where the teams are coming with one main goal: To make the Grand Prix next year,” said Carlos Ayala Espinoza, Director of the State Sports Institute. “It has certainly gained a lot of interest from the fans.”
USA, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico will play in Pool A while Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico are the teams in Pool B. The top teams of each Pool will automatically enter the semifinal phase while the second and third finishers will play a crossed quarterfinal round. The winners in the semis will play for the gold medal and the losers will battle for the bronze.
Mexico have been host for the first two editions of the Pan American Cup. Last year Cuba won the event with the Dominican Republic as runner-up and Canada won the bronze medal.
Cuba’s Yumilka Ruiz was the MVP and other awards went to her compatriot Nancy Carrillo, Mexican Bibi Candelas and Dominicans Francia Jackson and Evelyn Carrera.
All the matches will be played in the Convention Center of Coahuila which has a capacity of more than 4,000.