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Powerful USA’s men are heavy favorites in NORCECA Pool O

NORCECA's reigning champions USA have won five of the last eight continental championships
Colorado Springs, Colorado May 13, 2014 – The FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 qualification process goes through the United States this week as NORCECA Men’s Qualifier Pool O will be staged from May 15 to 18 at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Hosts the United States received a bye directly into the third-round qualification tournament based on their ranking. USA, ranked No. 4 in the FIVB world ranking and No. 1 in NORCECA, will be joined by Guatemala (45th), St. Lucia (49th) and Haiti (77th).

The powerful USA’s men are the reigning NORCECA champions winning the title at last year’s event after beating Canada in straight sets 25-23, 25-20, 25-14.

They have won the continental competition eight times including five of the last eight editions of the tournament and reached the podium in 22 of the 23 tournaments contested since the inaugural event in 1969.
The NORCECA ninth ranked Guatemala advanced to the NORCECA third round after defeating host Suriname 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21) in the Pool M gold-medal match. In 2012 the Guatemalans prevailed against hosts Costa Rica 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 18-25, 15-13) to win Pool H.

St. Lucia, ranked 10th in NORCECA, finished atop of Pool J on its home court, defeating the 25th ranked Haiti 3-1 (27-25, 25-13, 17-25, 25-20) in the gold-medal match in April, 2013. The Lucians also won their first round Pool B tournament in 2012 with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-13) victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Haiti finished second to the Dominican Republic in the first-round Pool C in November, 2012 succumbing 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-21) in the decisive match.

The Pool O winner earns a berth into the 24-team FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship that will be held from August 30 to September 21 in six cities in Poland. The second-place team in Pool O, along with the other three second place teams in third-round pools, will compete in a final playoff from July 14 to 20 to determine NORCECA’s fifth and final spot at the World Championship.

The FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, in its 18th edition, is held every four years and is the premier event for the FIVB. A total of 148 national federations, including 37 from NORCECA, have taken part in the FIVB Men’s World Championship qualification process.

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

May 15
17:00 Guatemala v Haiti
19:00 USA v St. Lucia

May 16
17:00 Haiti v St. Lucia
19:99 USA v Guatemala

May 17
17:00 St. Lucia v Guatemala
19:00 USA v Haiti

May 18
17:00 Third Place v Fourth Place
19:00 First Place v Second Place

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