Coaches comment ahead of the U21 Women’s Pan American Cup

NOGALES, Mexico, May 23, 2023.- Coaches of the eight competing teams commented about their expectations during the preliminary inquiries ahead of the U21 Women’s NORCECA Pan American Cup that starts on Wednesday May 24.  

After learning about the reschedule of the preliminary round and quarterfinals, they expressed:

José Fontes, Head Coach Belize: “This is the first time at a Norceca level for the team, they are excited to be here and with expectations of learning and growing. There are some players who study in the United States which didn’t give us an opportunity to train as a group; in addition to this some players couldn’t come because they had commitment with school. We are seeking for a positive experience”.

Edivaldo Bonilla, Head Coach Costa Rica: “Most of the players are part of the U19 team that competed last week in Puerto Rico because we want to stabilize the group for the Central American championship. We are including two girls with the age limit for this tournament. The team is motivated after the results in Puerto Rico, but aware that our opponents will pay more attention to us which brings more responsibilities. Our expectations are to qualify to quarterfinals and see what lies ahead of the competition”.

Wilfredo Robinson, Head Coach Cuba: “The team is in good condition, without taking in account the three days it took us to come here, just like all the teams. We have players in all positions that are in good shape to face the competition. Several have been playing overseas and are well, our intention is to reach the final”.

Cristian Cruz, Head Coach Dominican Republic: “The team is physically and technically prepared, we worked with them mentally after falling to Costa Rica at the U19 cup, they are coming focused and with the goal of reaching the medal round. The team will give their best level no matter who their opponent is”.

William Fernández, Head Coach Guatemala: “That team prepared well, the team has young players, only four of them are of this age-group. We are coming to play good volleyball and to battle strong against the teams of our area Central America. The backbone of the team has experience in Pan American Cups in Peru and here in Mexico, as well as in the U21 Central American championship; for five or six athletes it’s their first international experience”.

Luis Alberto León, Head Coach Mexico: “We’ve been in Nogales for ten days, adjusting to training. The team is anxious to begin competing. For us this is the beginning of our process for the U21 world championship which we’ll host in August, and we are aiming to compete here all the way to finals. Two players (Aime and Arleth) were part of the team that was in Puerto Rico”.

José Rivera, Head Coach Puerto Rico: “We are using this tournament to continue our preparation for the U19 world championship. Only two players are U21, and the rest of the group represented us at the U19 cup last week in Puerto Rico, and some players that we are observing their performance at this type of event. We hope to finish the tournament healthy after the difficulties coming here and to keep the teams’ continuity ahead of the U19 world championship”.

Daniel Fisher, Head Coach United States: “I am very proud of how the training environment developed and the girls supported each other, it was a unique experience being with elite training around the men’s and women’s senior teams. We are excited to compete once again, the group is ready for the competition”.