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Last chance for NORCECA teams in Tijuana

The Canadians are the team to beat in Tijuana

Tijuana, Mexico, August 27, 2009 – The last chance to qualify for the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship is only hours away for four NORCECA teams that will battle for two tickets available during this weekend’s Playoff Round.
Canada, coached by German Arnd Ludwig, is considered to have the inside track in the run for Japan’s Final Round, while a major scrap for the remaining berth is expected between hosts Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago.
Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the United States have already qualified as winners of their respective third-round tournaments.
Despite their tag as favorites, Canadian captain Tammy Mahon is taking a conservative approach prior to the start of the action.
“Even though we have been labeled as favorites I think the matches are going to be tough,” she said. “I think Mexico also has a good chance to reach the Japan stage.”
Canada, led by Tiffany Dodds and Nadine Alphonse, defeated Costa Rica in straight sets (25-20, 25-13, 25-19) to take seventh place in the Pan American Cup last July in Miami.
The Costa Ricans rely on the attacking power of siblings Verania and Angela Willis and high-leaping Karen Cope.
At the same event, Mexico came back from a 1-2 deficit to defeat Trinidad & Tobago 18-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13 to take ninth place.
Marta Revuelta, Olivia Meza and returning veteran Claudia Rodriguez are the top Mexican players, while the Trinidadians rely on the pure power generated by Kelly-Anne Billingy and Krystle Esdelle.
The four teams earned the chance to compete in the Playoff by finishing second in NORCECA’s four third-round tournaments.
Mexico lost to Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-10, 25-11 in Santiago de los Caballeros last June, while Canada finished second to Puerto Rico in Caguas last July. The North Americans were defeated 25-21, 25-19, 25-18.
Just after the Pan American Cup, Costa Rica lost to the United States 25-15, 25-9, 25-15 in Orlando, Florida last July.
Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago won a second-round tournament at home with an unbeaten record last June and then lost to Cuba in Havana two weeks later by a score of 25-6, 25-15, 25-20.

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More press releases
31/08/2009 Canada, Costa Rica qualify for Women's World Championship
30/08/2009 Canadians close in on Japan 2010
29/08/2009 Mexico, Canada start with victories in Tijuana
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