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Venezuela

This is the first time a Venezuelan female youth team has ever participated in a World Championship making for a record of four Venezuelan teams competing in the 2003 World Championships for the first time.

This is the future of Venezuelan volleyball. It was a surprise and a difficult qualification, but it's the demonstration of the work this Venezuelan side has been developing at all volleyball levels that has seen them qualify for the 2003 Women's World Youth Championship.

This team is very young, but the little experience is not a failure, it's an opportunity. The girls want to demonstrate their capabilities and the World Championship is a great platform to do so.

Venezuela is in Pool A with Kenya, Serbia & Montenegro and Croatia, not an easy group, but the aim is to stay alive in the tournament.

Young head coach Alexander Gutiérrez has experience with youth teams. He was the head coach in El Cairo, when the men's youth team finished 9th at the World Championship.

Captain Soriana Pacheco says: "We hope our presentation is good. We are a very inexperienced team, but I believe in us, so you can count on us".

Captain: Miss Soriana Pacheco

She was born in Maracay, Aragua State, and now she is only 16, being one of the most youngest of the girls in the team. But despite her age her teamamtes respect her as she has proven herself to be one of the best setters in the country.

She played in two youth national championships, two junior national championships and in the national sports games, in Lara 2002.

She also played in the South American youth girl's championship in Barquisimeto, Venezuela and in the South American junior girl's championship in La Paz, Bolivia, both in 2002. She played against the Cuba team in March 2003.

Expectations: Miss Pacheco knows that being in a world championship is a goal in itself and playing against the other teams at such a high level is a challenge. But I think the first aim is to get through the first round and then try to reach the final round, in order to reach the quarterfinals.