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Hosts Puerto Rico lead package in Women’s Pool R

Puerto Rico's women are favourites to win Pool R and the ticket to Italy
Ponce, Puerto Rico, May 21, 2014 – Puerto Rico will host Costa Rica, St Lucia and Barbados in the NORCECA Women’s World Championship Qualification Third Round Tournament Pool R from May 22-25 at Juan “Pachín” Vicens Auditorium of Ponce, the second largest city of Puerto Rico known as “The Pearl of the South”.

Puerto Rico and Central American champions Costa Rica received byes directly into the third round competition based on their ranking. The Puerto Ricans are currently in the 17th position of the world rankings while the Costa Ricans are placed 29th.

St Lucia is placed 44th (ninth in NORCECA) by FIVB and Barbados sits in the 55th spot of the world and 14th in the regional level. Puerto Rico and Costa Rica are in the fourth and seventh position, respectively, in the confederation’s rankings.

Despite losing top attackers Karina Ocasio-Malpica and Stephanie Enright due to injuries, Puerto Rico is considered the team to beat during the weekend event. The home team still counts on players like outside hitters Aury Cruz and Yarimar Rosa, middle blockers Sheila Ocasio and Alexandra Oquendo and setter Vilmarie Mojica.

Costa Rica relies on siblings Verania and Angela Willis who both have been with the team for the past decade.

In last year’s second round, St Lucia finished second to Curacao in Pool J while Barbados was also second to Trinidad and Tobago in Pool I. In the first round in 2012, St Lucia won Pool B while the Bajans were runners-up in Pool E.

The Pool R winner earns a berth into the 24-team FIVB Women’s World Championship that will be held from September 23 to October 12 in six Italian cities. 

The second-place team in Pool R, along with the other four second place teams in third-round pools, will compete in a final playoff from June 2-9 at Trinidad & Tobago to determine NORCECA’s sixth and final spot into the World Championship.

Competition Schedule:

May 22
14:00 Barbados v St Lucia
20:00 Puerto Rico v Costa Rica

May 23
16:00 Costa Rica v Barbados
18:00 Puerto Rico v St Lucia

May 24
14:00 St Lucia v Costa Rica
18:00 Puerto Rico v Barbados

May 25
16:00 Third Place v Fourth Place
18:00 First Place v Second Place


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