USA and Dominican Republic to start their WGP Season


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 31, 2014 - United States and Dominican Republic, the two NORCECA representatives in the “big twelve”, start their FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix campaigns on Friday in Ankara, Turkey and Sassari, Italy, respectively.


The American women, who dominated the World Grand Prix with three consecutive crowns between 2010 and 2012, open their season playing against Russia continuing with the contests against hosts Turkey and Japan in Pool A.


The Dominicans, who recently won the Women’s Pan American Cup in Mexico City, debut against hosts Italy and then meet China and defending champions Brazil during the weekend matches in Pool C.


Germany, Serbia, Thailand and Korea, the other teams competing in the elite group, begin their season in Hwaseong, Korea as part of Pool B.


The preliminary round of the World Grand Prix will see the twelve Group 1 teams play round-robin tournaments (each with four teams) on three weekends to determine which four countries will progress to the final round.


They will be joined at the grand finale from August 20-24 by hosts Japan and the winner of the Final Four from the eight teams from Group 2.


The Group 2 pools include Poland, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, Cuba and Belgium.


Leuven, Belgium, and Trujillo, Peru are the venues this week for the second of three preliminary round weekends for the Group 2 teams.


Canada, Argentina, Netherlands and Belgium will compete in Leuven while Puerto Rico, Cuba, Poland and Peru are set to clash in Trujillo.


Last weekend, Puerto Rico finished with a 2-1 win-loss record playing at home in Carolina. The Puerto Ricans won against Argentina and Cuba but came up short against Netherlands.  Cuba came up with empty hands in their three outings.


Canada is also 0-3 after the first weekend in Lima, Peru.


In Group 3, Mexico will play Algeria, Kazakhstan and hosts Czech Republic in the city of Brno. Playing at home in Mexico City last weekend, the Mexicans scored a victory over Algeria.


Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Kenya, the other teams in Group 3, will be playing in the city of Porec, Croatia.


The matches in Brno and Porec will decide which three teams make it to the Group 3 Final Four. Final round hosts Bulgaria are already confirmed as participants in the highlight from August 16-17 in Samokov.