TULSA, Oklahoma, USA, July 17, 2022 – Eight teams are in the central United States this week for the Girls U19 Pan American Cup on July 18-23 at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa.
Six NORCECA countries – Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States – are battling for three berths in the 2023 FIVB Girls U19 World Championship. Two South American countries – Brazil and Peru – are using the tournament to prepare for their own championship in a few weeks.
Most players at the tournament will be competing for their country for the first time.
Coaches and representatives from the eight teams gave their thoughts about the upcoming six-day tournament.
Brazil Team Manager Jose Caetano
“We are here to prepare our team because next month we have the South American championship. We have to think about the next year and the world championship. We have been training one and a half months and we played three matches against a professional team in Brazil to prepare our girls before coming here. We hope we can do well in the competition.”
Canada Head Coach Christine Biggs
“We’re very excited to be bringing this young group to the Pan American Cup. For many, it is their first international experience. With three NORCECA berths on the line for World Championships, this tournament is very important. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made leading into the event. We’re excited to see the team grow and compete in this environment.”
Costa Rica Head Coach Kareem Richards
“It’s a pleasure and an honor to be here at the Pan American Cup. We know that it is a really difficult tournament, we are in a complicated group, nevertheless, we are here with all our energy to do the best tournament possible. We will go one point at a time to reach our goals, which are clear, gain the most experience possible and learn from the best teams here; we will put our best effort. I want to thank the organizing committee; they have surpassed our expectations.”
Mexico Head Coach Luis Bañuelo
“We are glad to be here at the Pan American Cup. It’s a new experience for most of the teams, for most of the girls representing Mexico. We are glad to participate and reach the best result that can qualify us to the World Championship, we have worked for it, and we are confident to reach the result we have set.”
Peru Head Coach Walter Lung
“For many of the players, it is the first time competing internationally. We are coming here to prepare this team for the South American championship. I hope that the team will give its best performance.”
Dominican Republic Head Coach Wagner Picheco
“We have a young team with 60 percent playing a tournament for the first time, for many of them an official tournament, but we hope to perform our best to reach one objective that is a berth to Worlds and after that maybe win a medal to climax two years of work”.
Puerto Rico Head Coach Juan Carlos Rodriguez
“Puerto Rico is a team with good height. For several players this will be their first major tournament. The goal is to qualify to the World Championship, and we hope for the girls to make their job and that they focus in what each one has to do.”
USA Head Coach Jamie Morrison
“We are excited to see the next generation of athletes from across the NORCECA and South American zones represent their countries and compete against each other. For a lot of athletes, this might be the first time representing their country and that’s a special thing. We are looking forward to competing against the best and learning in the process.”