Coaches motivated to be part of the NORCECA Women’s Championship

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, October 7, 2019.- The coaches of the eight participating teams are motivated to be part of the biennial NORCECA Women's Volleyball Continental Championship to take place at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Monday 07 de October del 2019 16:30 PM

The top three ranked teams at the end of the competition, except USA already qualified to Tokyo 2020 and Dominican Republic qualified thru the NORCECA Championship Cup, will qualify to the NORCECA Final Four Olympic Qualification Tournament to be held next January.


Benjamin Josephson, Head Coach of Canada: "We are as prepared as we can be, we had a really great training block at our training center in Richmond and the girls are excited to get back together after a small break from Olympic qualifier in August, practicing for a little bit more than three weeks. I've been with the team as assistant coach for the summer block and now I'm in charge as our head coach is with his university team in Georgia. We expect the team to play hard, communicate well and have fun. This is an important part of our journey to be in the Olympics; the goal is to win a spot for the tournament in January".

José Miguel Briceño, Head Coach of Costa Rica: "We are coming to gain experience; this is a new process with U23 players, with an average of 20 years old. The tournament will be helpful for Costa Rica's volleyball future. The senior players have been practicing for eight months and the under 23 that recently won the AFECAVOL championship have been preparing longer".

Tomás Fernández Arteaga, Head Coach of Cuba: "We are in a development period; this is a process that started last year with our goal on the Central American Games Panama 2022, so we are bringing our youngest players and because we aren't part of this Olympic cycle. The players will be evaluated because we want the twenty four players that are part of the project, to be in their best condition for Panama 2022. The tournament well be of great level and it will be of great use for our development".

Marcos Kwiek, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: "The year has and still is tough; we went from one competition to another and the team has performed well this season. We played long and strong tournaments, such as Nations League and World Cup were demanding. The players are in great health. I hope we stay focused for this continental championship and the most important event of all, the final Olympic qualifier. It's been a good year, the results have been important as a team and none of the individual performance' has been outstanding; we have worked well and we have gained a lot as a team. Every tournament is different and we aim to play at a great level".

Gabriela Alarcón, Head Coach of Mexico: "This is a great challenge, I normally coach the youth categories of the men's national teams and the girls have received me well. We have worked with great coordination and committed to qualify for the final four tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Mexico brings a team with experienced players: Andrea Rangel that plays here in Puerto Rico and is in good shape, Samantha Bricio with a long trajectory in Europe and has a small shoulder injury but in conditions to play, and Ivonne Martinez who was the best setter in college and already signed to play in Hungary. We have a combination of U20 and U18 players. They are eager to play despite that we needed some more time to play".

José Mieles, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: "Playing in Puerto Rico is always good, with our people, our family, our fans; and at the emblematic Roberto Colemente Colisium is even more special where we've had great results. We hope that the seventh player (the crowd) will be an important part in our result. After a summer of many competitions, now we have the best talent available in the team, with veteran players such as Karina Ocacio, Diana Reyes, Shirley Ferrer.  The entire group has been practicing over two weeks together and we've set short term, medium term and long term goals; the most important one: winning a spot in the final four. All the opponents are strong; we must be cautious and play every match seriously".  

Sean Morrison, Head Coach of Trinidad and Tobago: "For us it's more development; most of our senior players took a break from this tournament (only two are here), so it's actually an U20 and U17 team. This is a very young and inexperienced team, we are in process. Fletcher is here, she was part of the World Championship team last year and the libero also has experience, she was part of the world qualification in 2005 and she's back to play after finishing a master's degree. It's been a little more than six months of practice and we want to get a better game level and keep competing at NORCECA level".

Karch Kiraly, Head Coach of United States: "It has been a really strong season for the USA, we've had great competition in Nations League, Pan Am Cup, Olympic Qualifier and World Cup, so we are very excited to finish strong less than 12 months away from Tokyo 2020. Every hour that we get together will count and be important for a great 2020. We expect great and hard play from every opponent and we are excited for the chance to be finishing the year with our Continental Championship. We know great teams are here, for instance Dominican Republic has improved and playing strong volleyball this year. We are fortunate and grateful to have our players in good health".



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