FAYETTEVILLE – Razorback volleyball head coach Robert Pulliza has traveled to Guatemala to assist the Puerto Rico Junior National Team as it competes in the 2010 NORCECA Continental Girls’ Youth Championship. The winner of the 10-team tournament will grab a spot in this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, while three invitations to the 2011 FIVB World Championship in Turkey are also on the line.
Play began Tuesday evening with the Puerto Rican team posting a straight-sets victory over El Salvador, 25-8, 25-11, 25-12. Match two against Guatemala is scheduled for Thursday. After the round-robin pool play, bracket play begins Friday with the quarterfinals.
Puerto Rico is part of Pool B with teams from El Salvador and host-country Guatemala. Pool A consists of Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. Four-time defending champion USA heads up Pool C which also includes Canada and the Dominican Republic.
The top two pool winners-based on points for-against ratio-will advance directly to the semifinals, while the third pool winner will play in the quarterfinals with the second-place teams from each group. Based on points collected at the 2008 NORCECA Tournament and 2009 FIVB World Championship, Puerto Rico is the fourth-ranked team in the region. Puerto Rico won the NORCECA Tournament in 2000.