SALTILLO, Mexico, June 26, 2003 - Mexico, the host team of the second women's Volleyball Pan American Cup is already in Saltillo, Coahuila ready to battle for one of the four places up for grabs to gain qualification to the 2004 World Grand Prix, the annual women's main event in the FIVB program.
The team coached by Sergio Hernandez Herrera arrived yesterday morning and had a practice session in the “Manuel Morales” Gym in front of dozens of fans who were avid to see the side representing Mexico in the competition.
The locals will play in Pool B joining the representatives from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Teams in Pool A are USA, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico. The competition start on June 30 and runs until July 5.
The names of Bibi Candelas and Yandy Cortinas stand out in the Mexican squad, not only because they are proven quality players but also are local athletes from Coahuila who started their careers in the area.
Candelas, who placed among the top ten scorers during the 2002 World Championship in Germany, plays for the Southern California University team that won the NCAA tournament in USA this year.
Cortinas, who plays in Europe and has been part of Mexican Teams since she was 12 years-old, considered the Pan American Cup as a great event for Volleyball in the state of Coahuila.
“It is going to be a competition of great statue,” said Cortinas. “People will have the chance to see quality Volleyball and I think this is a good promotion of our sport in Mexico.”
This is the second time in 2003 that the Mexican national team visits Saltillo for an international competition. The last time was for a friendly match against the Australian team.
“We know that this is a very strong tournament with the best team of the continent,” said Moxican coach Sergio Hernandez. “My girls will go out to give 100 per cent in every match trying to finish among the top four teams.”
“This event also serves as preparation for the next Pan American Games and the NORCECA tournament in August and September in Dominican Republic,” he added. “We have been training very hard and the team is ready for a good showing here.”
The opening ceremony of the Pan American Cup is scheduled for June 30 at 19:45 in the Convention Center with capacity for more than 4,000 spectators. However, matches will start the same day at 14:00.
The Mexican Team: Yendy Cortinas López, Migdalel Ruíz, Célida Córdoba, Mariela García, Bibiana Candelas, Guadalupe Sifuentes, Liliana Peña Robles, Paola Estrada, Blanca Chan, Claudia Rodríguez Audelo, Marion Frías.