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Canada and Mexico favourites in NORCECA women’s Pool S

Canada's women finished fourth at last year's NORCECA Continental Championship held in Omaha, USA
Mississauga, Canada, May 14, 2014 - The road to the FIVB Women’s World Championships in Italy passes through the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, with the NORCECA Qualification Tournament Pool S featuring teams from Mexico, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands and hosts Canada from May 16-19.

The Hershey Centre has a 5,500 seating capacity and also played host to two weekends of World League action in 2013.

As they look to win the one spot available to the 24-team final stage of the FIVB World Championships in Italy, the Canadian women are expected to face strong competition from the Mexican side, well known for their competitive spirit and defensive skills.

Canada are currently ranked 20th in the world and No. 5 in NORCECA, while Mexico is No. 28 in the world rankings and 6th at a continental level. At last year’s NORCECA Continental Championship, Canada finished fourth, followed by Mexico in fifth position.

The home team includes former college athlete of the year Shanice Marcelle, as well as Brittney Page and Janie Guimond.

“It’s very important that both our men's team and our women’s team qualify in Mississauga, so this makes it very exciting for our coaches and athletes,” said Julien Boucher, Volleyball Canada’s High Performance Director.  “We’re looking forward to making our home-country fans proud!”

Based on their continental and world rankings, both Canada and Mexico received byes to the third round of qualifiers. The US Virgin Islands and Jamaica share the 46th spot in the FIVB hierarchy.

In the history of the NORCECA Continental Championships, Canadian teams have won two silver and eight bronze medals, while Mexico have registered two victories to go with their three bronze medals.

The US Virgin Islands (ranked No. 12 in NORCECA) defeated Curacao (25-23, 25-15, 19-25, 25-17) to win Pool C at home in St Croix in 2012, but lost to El Salvador last year in five sets (21-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-18, 15-9) to decide Pool K, also in St Croix.

Jamaica, ranked No. 13 in NORCECA, won the first-round Pool E in Kingston against Barbados (25-14, 26-24, 23-25, 25-19). One year later, they lost Pool M to Nicaragua in five sets (21-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-16, 15-10).

Italy will host the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships for the first time ever this year. The tournament will be held in six cities from September 23 to October 12.

Competition schedule

May 16
14:00    Mexico v US Virgin Islands
18:00    Canada v Jamaica

May 17
14:00    Jamaica v US Virgin Islands
20:00    Canada v Mexico

May 18
16:00    Mexico v Jamaica
18:00    Canada v US Virgin Islands

May 19
16:00    Third Place v Fourth Place
20:00    First Place v Second Place


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