Junior Pan Am Games a great opportunity for a new generation

CALI, Colombia, November 30, 2021. - According to the head coaches of the eight participating teams in the women’s volleyball tournament, the Junior Pan Am Games are a great opportunity for a new generation of volleyball players.


Coaches gave their insights ahead of the competition that starts on Wednesday December 1, during the general technical meeting held at the official venue Evangelista Mora Coliseum.


Pablo Martín Ambrosini, head coach of Argentina: “This is a very important competition, all that are part of the Olympic cycle and that have the support of the national sports authorities; we are facing the best of the continent. We’ve gathered young players; many with experience in U18 and U20 world championships and that have competed in the senior team at the south American championship and we’ve been practicing at our development center for this tournament. We want to play well, which will help us one game at a time, our group is difficult and it’s of great level. We will try and play for a medal”.


Wagner Coppini, head coach of Brazil: “This is a really important category because the gap between junior and senior category is too big, now the players have an opportunity to perform internationally, and then reach the senior category. This is a great international experience, at a Pan-American highly competitive level”.


Antonio Rizola, assistant coach of Colombia: “First we are really happy to be in our country. Our goal is to be in the semifinals. We need to overcome many problems because 8 of our players were playing in Europe and are arriving until today, we didn’t have one single practice together; today will be the first practice with all twelve before tomorrow’s match, it will be a great challenge but I believe that playing at home will motivate the team a lot. This category was one that was left out, the players could only reach as starters at a senior level and had no chance of playing internationally, now the competition gives them back the opportunity to play at a Pan-American level, it’s really important for their growth”.


Wagner Pacheco, head coach of Dominican Republic: “The team is doing very well, we practiced one week in Brazil, we had to practice games there and it’s well prepared. Our goal is to win a medal, like all the teams here. This is a different category, a great opportunity for those players who aren’t part of a senior team and to take benefit from the experience”.


Luis Alberto León, head coach of Mexico: “We are really excited for this new competition, the first edition of the Games. The team is highly motivated. Our goals are to fight for a medal and to qualify for Santiago 2023”.


Francisco Hervas, head coach of Peru: “We are aware that we have a tough group, Brazil and Dominican Republic are undisputable favorites but we will try to reach the semifinals, which would be a great feat for us”.


Juan Carlos Rodríguez, head coach of Puerto Rico: “From the group that qualified in Aguascalientes for the Games, we are bringing only two players (one setter and an outside hitter), the group studies in college. We’ve had four practices because it was difficult recruiting U23 players as most of them aren’t studying in Puerto Rico. I liked my team during the first practices, we are well in every position and we will improve as the tournament develops”.


Miquel Misidjang, head coach of Suriname: “I think it was a good decision to organize this tournament, good for the players to see how other countries are working and performing, so they can work on themselves; and also for the coaches to follow the development of other countries. My team is well prepared, we competed at the U23 Pan American Cup and we didn’t make many changes from that group; we´ve be practicing for three months and playing games for this event”.