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Hosts Dominican Republic among favorites at U20 Cup

The coaches of the six teams participating in the U20 Women's Pan American Cup in Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, April 18, 2015 – Hosts Dominican Republic are among the favourites to win the U20 Women’s Pan American Cup to be held in Santo Domingo from April 19 to 24.

"The home side have prepared well for the event, playing against Japan and the United States ahead of the competition," said Wagner Pacheco, the Brazilian coach of the local squad.

Argentina’s Mauro Silvestre is also optimistic about his team's chances after winning the U18 Pan American Cup with the same group of players, while Chile’s Hugo Jauregui has said his team is aiming for a top-three finish.

Mexico's Luis Alberto Leon also expects his team to end the event with one of the podium positions.

Argentina coach Mauro Silvestre said: "This is the same U18 team that won the Pan American Cup and the Invitational Tournament in Baja California and continues its development process ahead of the U18 World Championship. We are bringing two different players – one a libero and one a middle blocker - to watch them. Our objectives are very clear and this is an important competition in preparation for the Worlds. We will try to win and I think we have done what we could to prepare a win."

Chile coach Hugo Jauregui said: "We have great expectations as we want to finish among the top-three and get points for the world ranking. We have had a strong preparation and the Dominican Republic invited us to come one week earlier to train and play. We know there are stronger teams that are above us in the ranking and because of that the challenge is a big one."

Costa Rica coach Andrés López Castro said: "Our job is to prepare these girls for the Central American Championship next December. The competition gives us the chance to play at a class A level event, a warm-up opportunity they have not had met. In that tournament, we plan to qualify to the NORCECA Championship as part of the rebuilding process we have started."

Dominican Republic coach Wagner Pacheco said: "Our team is very well prepared. We have had warm-up matches against Japan, the United States and the Dominican seniors. We have played matches of high level - winning and losing - but always playing at a high level. The only problem is that for the first time they will be playing in front of a home crowd, which can create some pressure. But we are prepared for this tournament."

Mexico coach Luis Alberto León said: "Our main goal is to qualify for the World Championship with a good position in the ranking. We hope to finish on the podium despite not playing preparation matches. It is a new team participating in its first international competition. I can see the girls well motivated with a desire to take advantage of the opportunity."

Nicaragua coach Claudia Noguer said: "We have a young team that is participating in a high level competition with good teams from South America and NORCECA for the first time. The girls are thrilled about participating and we have come to learn from the other teams. Our goal is to work as a team and go out every day to give our best.”


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