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USA was the best positioned team from Norceca in first round

KOBE, Japan, November 5, 2006.- USA crushed Puerto Rico in straight sets 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 and qualified in second place in a Pool C match of the 2006 FIVB Women’s World Championship.

USA was the best positioned team from the NORCECA Confederation in this phase og the event. Cuba qualified in third place in Pool D and Puerto Rico was fourth in Pool C. Dominican Republic (19), Costa Rica (20) and Mexico (23) were eliminated in the first round.

Nancy Metcalf and Katherine Wilkins each had 15 points for USA and Heather Bown added 12. Karina Ocasio was the best of Puerto Rico with 9 tallies.

“We are happy with the result even though we had a tough time because there are a lot of tough teams here. We have a lot of good attackers and they are in good shape, so we need to work on our serves and receiving,” said Lang Ping, the USA coach.

“We were completely defeated -- on offense, defense the American team performed very well. I really can't be satisfied with today's result,” stated Juan Carlos Nunez, the Puerto Rican coach.

In Pool D, Cuba needed five sets to overcome Peru 22-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-16, 15-10. Rosir Calderon had 22 points, Nancy Carrillo 18 and Yumilka Ruiz 16.

"It was hard to start the games against well-prepared teams. Peru is a good team with much experience and a high level," said Felipe Calderon, the Cuban coach.

In Pool A, Costa Rica was defeated by Chinese Tapei in straight sets by 25-10, 25-18, 25-12. Verania Willis was the best for the Costa Ricans with 12 points who ended with 1-4 mark.

“The Chinese Taipei is a very high-class team, and we tried our best to get as many points as possible. In the second set we competed well but in the first and third sets we could not play well. We are a seed and want to grow by playing in more international games,” commented Costa Rican Coach Braulio Godinez

In Pool B, Azerbaijan rolled over Mexico in consecutive sets by score of 25-14, 25-10, 25-16. Bibi Candelas had 9 points for Mexico who finished with 0-5 record.

In the final match of Pool B, Russia defeated Dominican Republic in four sets (25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 25-19). Nurys Arias and Cosiris Rodriguez each had 12 points and Annerys Vargas added 10.

"Russia is a very strong team and our players knew this before the match. We played with a lot of passion because we wanted to win but the Russians were just too strong in blocking and attacking close to the net. I hope one of the teams from our pool goes on to win the world championship, maybe it could be Russia," said Miguel Beato Cruz, the coach of Dominican Republic.

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