CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Sept. 4, 2023).- Seven teams are ready and excited to compete at the 2023 NORCECA Senior Men’s Continental Championship on Sept. 5-10 at the Charleson Coliseum and Convention Center.
Canada Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo: “I have no idea how we will do. We are well prepared. That is the main thing. Every game will be a story in itself. We have done a very big load of work during this preparation. Now, all our thoughts have to be here, not at the Olympic qualifiers. We are happy to be here. I personally am happy to be here to see something that I haven’t seen. It is important to focus on one game at a time and, inside the game, one rally at a time. We would like to grow up during the tournament. On the court, I hope we can see the things that we have been working on.”
Cuba Head Coach Jesus Angel Cruz Lopez: “This is a very important tournament as it grants points for the world ranking. We all know that countries are in the fight for Olympic qualification, and this is an opportunity to earn points and move up in the ranking. That’s why most of the teams are here with their A-team, as we’ve seen in the European and South American tournaments.”
Dominican Republic Head Coach Jose Gutierrez Sanchez: “It is a great pleasure for us to be here. We are clear that this tournament has three levels: USA, Canada and Cuba are in the first level. The second level is Mexico, Puerto Rico and us. The other level is Suriname. The competition for us is trying to play our best and, if possible, to beat Mexico and Puerto Rico. For us, that is the main goal.” –
Mexico Head Coach Jorge Azair: “Our team is young. For us, this tournament is for experience, and we will try to get points for future tournaments.”
Puerto Rico Head Coach Oswald Ontonetti Cameron: “We brought a younger team. We think they are talented. It’s going to be a tough competition. We know that every team brought their best team. Hopefully we will keep improving with every point of every match.”
Suriname Head Coach Carlos Orta Fellove: “It’s a pleasure to participate in the tournament. Suriname volleyball is coming up and growing now. It is always difficult to play teams like Canada and Cuba. We are going to try. We are going to play hard. We are going to show all the teams here that Suriname is improving. We won the Caribbean Cup, which allowed us to come to this tournament. We are going to do our best to win at least one set. I think if we play hard, we have a chance to win one or two sets. I expect all the players to play well, because the most important thing is that we reach at least this level. Cuba, Mexico and USA, they started like us and now they are at the top. I hope Suriname one day will also be at the top.”
U.S. Head Coach John Speraw: “We’re very excited after a month of training and after VNL and some time off to get back into competitive mode. We’ve made some nice improvements over the last month. The team has been focused and intentional about the time that we have, which is very rare, so I think it was valuable. The team is focused on Suriname, which is a team we don’t know very much about. We’re going to go out and try to use this moment to not only win this tournament but prepare for the Olympic qualifier. So it’s a good test to see how much we’ve improved over the last month and get a nice opportunity to see if we can win the NORCECA championship.”