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Regional teams fly in tomorrow for volleyball qualifiers
Keisha Hill, Staff Reporter
Five overseas teams are scheduled to arrive in the island tomorrow for Round Two of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA)-D (Men) Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Championships Qualifiers scheduled for May 20-24 at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Jamaica will go head-to-head with arch-rivals Mexico, Haiti, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and St Lucia during the four-day qualifying championships.
Mexico are rated as the strongest team among the participating squads and are currently ranked sixth in NORCECA. They are also considered the favourites to win the event and advance to NORCECA-G in the third round in Puerto Rico.
Battle for the second spot
Jamaica and St Lucia are expected to battle for the second spot available to the next round of the competition, with the second-place team moving on to the NORCECA-H event in Cuba. St Lucia won all four of their matches in the NORCECA-A tournament as hosts in April.
The six participating teams at the tournament have been divided into two groups, with Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Haiti playing in Pool A, and Mexico, St Lucia and Bahamas competing in Pool B.
The second-round schedule is as follows: May 20 - St Lucia vs Bahamas at 5 p.m. and Jamaica vs Haiti at 7:30 p.m.; May, 21 - Cayman vs Haiti at 5 p.m. and Bahamas vs Mexico at 7 p.m.; May, 22 - Mexico vs St Lucia at 5 p.m. and Jamaica vs Cayman at 7 p.m.
The top-two teams from each pool will move on to the semi-finals, where they will play in crossed matches, with the winners securing spots in the third round.
Head coach of the Jamaica volleyball team, David Jack, says the team has been preparing intensely for the last few months and the championships will prove how ready the players are for the encounter.
"We are going into the championships with all intentions of coming out on top. The squad has been working hard and we are aiming for the top qualifying position," Jack said.
The members of the male squad that will represent Jamaica in the upcoming qualifiers are Robert Andrews, Dellan Brown, Ricardo Chong, Omar Frazer, Namarie Gordon, Collin Henry, Shavoy Irving, Mark Lewis, Andre McLean, Delford Morgan, Richard Reynolds, Donovan Richards, Delroy Salmon, Errol Smith, Conaradio Taylor and Dany Wilson.
The FIVB Men's World Championships will be held in Italy in 10 cities, from September 24 in Milan, then on to Torino, Reggio Calabria, Modena, Verona, Catania, Ancona, Florence and Trieste before the final in Rome on October 10.