NORCECA Press Release
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, August 31, 2016 – Defending champions Dominican Republic and seven-time champions United States alongside Barbados and Guatemala will be competing in the same Pool B as the NORCECA Girls’ U18 Continental Championship gets underway on Sepember 2 at Pedrin Zorrilla Coliseum in San Juan.
Hosts Puerto Rico, the only other champions in the history of the biennial competition, will play in Pool A together with Mexico, Costa Rica and French St Martin. The top two ranked team at the conclusion of the tournament will qualify for the FIVB 2017 World Championship to be held in Argentina.
Four daily matches will take place starting at 14:00 local time with hosts Puerto Rico playing all their matches at 20:00 during the preliminary phase. The pool winners will get direct ticket to the semifinals while the teams placed second and third in each pool will meet in crossed matches in the quarterfinals.
Opening day features the matches of Mexico versus Costa Rica at 14:00, followed by United States against Guatemala at 16:00. The Dominican Republic debuts against Barbados at 18:00 while Puerto Rico meets French St. Martin at 20:00.
The United States have dominated the competition winning seven out of nine tournaments held since 1998. Puerto Rico took the title in 2000 and the Dominican Republic in 2014.
The Americans have finished twice in second place for a total on nine podium positions. The Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are next with six medals. The Dominicans have one gold medal, three silver and two bronze medals and the home girls have one gold medal, two silvers and three bronze medals. The Mexicans have finished on the podium four times –two second place and two third place finishes- and Canada was ranked third in the first event held in 1998.
Member of the NORCECA Control Committee carried out satisfactory inspection visits to the Albergue Olímpico Germán Rieckehoff Sampoyo where the teams will be lodged as well as the Pedrin Zorrilla Coliseum, the official competition venue.