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Strong competition for top two spots at NORCECA U20

Coaches of the nine teams participating in the NORCECA Women's U20 Championship in Guatemala City
Guatemala City, Guatemala, July 8, 2014. -  The nine coaches of the participating national teams at the Women’s U20 NORCECA Continental Championship all agree on that a demanding competition awaits them this week in Guatemala.

On the eve of the start of actions at the biennial event, the coaches commented about the importance of facing each match with precision  to battle for the two berths available to the 2015 FIVB World Championship, as well as finishing among the top finalists to be eligible to compete in next year’s age-group Pan American Cup.

The coaches’ quotes were the following:

Martin Rodriguez, Costa Rica: “Our objective is clear, to be the best team of Central America. We decided to come in the last minute but we’ve worked hard and the team is now more dynamic, with a more active way of playing which we believe will make Costa Rica finish well positioned among the top teams in NORCECA”.
Tomas Fernandez, Cuba: “Our pretensions are serious; we hope  one of the tickets to the FIVB World Championship will be ours. We know our team is the youngest in the competition but with a very serious purpose: qualifying, which is part of their development as athletes”. 

Wagner Pacheco, Dominican Republic: “Everyone here wants to qualify to the World Championship and we are no different. We’ve trained hard for the past four months as this is the most important tournament in the year for us, we want to reach the final match to guarantee the berth to the World Championship.”

William Fernandez, Guatemala: “The major goal is to finish first in Pool B, winning both matches and see what happens from there on. We’ve replaced the lack of international preparation facing our own national U-23 team and the men’s U-19 team, as well as against teams in our national league.”

Tania Villeronce, Martinique: “It is the first time for Martinique in a continental championship; unfortunately we’re not presenting our best team due to last minute injured players, nevertheless we want to make this the best learning experience and the opportunity to see how volleyball is played in NORCECA. We are impatient for our first match tomorrow”.

Luis Leon, Mexico: “The team has a good disposition, good attitude and many phisical qualities; we’ve only trained together for one week as each player has been practicing with their own clubs. Our aspiration, as for everyone, is to qualify to the world championship, which will be complicated because of the high quality of teams here, but we’ll do all within our reach to do so”. 

Claudia Noguera, Nicaragua: “It’s of great importance for Nicaragua to compete in continental events, facing teams of high performance to acquire more experience and to develop Nicaragua’s volleyball. We hope for a good performance the whole tournament and to obtain the best results possible for our country”.

Keam Charlery, St. Lucia: “A few players are repeating from the NORCECA U-18 Championship last week, but it’s a different team. We’re going to play to our highest, we know it’s a difficult competition with tough opponents but we’ll try to challenge them and hopefully come on top”.

Thomas Hogan, United States: “Our goal is to qualify for the 2015 Junior FIVB World Championship. We are excited to be in Guatemala City, the hospitality has been great and nothing but first class accommodations”. 

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