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USA women look sure bet in NORCECA Pool O

The US women have won five of the last seven NORCECA Continental titles and the last two editions of the Pan American Cup
Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 13, 2014 – The United States will host Guatemala, Honduras and Panama in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 Qualification Tournament NORCECA third-round Pool O which takes place from May 15 to 18 at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Hosts the United States, ranked second in the world by the FIVB and No 1 in NORCECA received a bye directly into the third-round qualification tournament based on their ranking. 

One of the top teams in the world, USA are considered a certainty to book their place among the 24 sides to compete later in the year at the final stage of the competition in several cities across Italy.

The US side has won the last two editions of the annual Women’s Pan American Cup and won also the last two biennial championships of NORCECA.

The Americans have been continental champions seven times and have won five of the last seven editions and reached the podium in 21 of the 23 editions since the tournament began in 1969.

The NORCECA 11th ranked Panama (55th in the world along with Guatemala) captured Pool N with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-16) victory over Haiti in the finals last summer to advance to the third round. The Panamanians had won Pool G in 2012 with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-11) victory over El Salvador.

Guatemala, No. 15 at the continental level, won its second-round Pool L with a 3-1 (25-20, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21) victory over Guadeloupe in the finals at Guatemala City last June to advance to the third round. In the first round, the Guatemalans lost a decisive five-setter 3-2 (25-15, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-11) against Nicaragua in Pool H. 

Honduras ranked 62nd in the world and 19th in NORCECA, finished third in the second-round Pool I last May in Trinidad & Tobago, but were the highest ranked third-place team to move on to the next stage.

The Pool O winner earns a berth at the 24-team FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 that will be held from September 23 to October 12 in six Italian cities. The second-place team in Pool O, along with the other four second place teams in third-round pools, will compete in a final playoff from June 2 to 9 at Trinidad & Tobago to determine NORCECA’s sixth and final spot at the World Championship.

The Women’s World Championship, in its 17th edition, is held every four years and is the premier event for the FIVB. A total of 141 national federations, including 36 from NORCECA, have taken part in the FIVB Women’s World Championship qualification process.

FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 Qualification Tournament NORCECA third-round Pool O Schedule (all times local)

May 15: 

13:00 Panama v Honduras 
15:00 USA v Guatemala 

May 16

13:00 Honduras vs. Guatemala
15:00 USA v Panama

May 17
13:00 Panama v Guatemala
15:00 USA v Honduras 

May 18
13:00: Third Place v Fourth Place
15:00  First Place v Second Place

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