At long last the dates and host countries for the third round of the qualification tournaments towards the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championships to be held in Poland and Italy next September and October have been announced.
St. Lucia’s Senior Women’s team will face Costa Rica, Barbados and host Puerto Rico in the fifth Pool R which will take place May 20-26, 2014. The winner of this pool earns a ticket to the finals in Italy.
Last May the ladies competed in the second round of qualification in Curacao,
placing second and qualifying for the third round. The women’s third round which features 20 teams is divided into five pools of four teams where the winners of each pool will be granted a direct ticket to the finals in Italy, which will be held from September 23 to October 12, 2014.
The FIVB World Championship Final Qualification round to be played between the second placed teams of the previous five third round events is scheduled for Trinidad & Tobago from June 2-9, 2014.
Saint Lucia’s senior Men’s Team have advanced to the third round of this prestigious World Championship Tournament having competed in the second round of qualification in Saint Lucia in April of 2013. They claimed the gold medal and moved on to third round action.
Sixteen teams will be participating in the men’s competition divided into four pools of four also with a final qualification event for the runner-ups of these tournaments. The four pool winners will be granted a berth in Poland from September 3-18, 2014.
The St. Lucian men will compete in Pool O against Guatemala, Haiti and host USA in Colorado Springs from May 13-19, 2014. The men are no strangers to the teams in their group as the have matched up against Haiti in the second round of competition defeating them in the finals and lost to the USA in three straights set at the September 2013 NORCECA Senior Men’s Continental Championship.
The FIVB Final Qualification Round will take place either in Mexico or Puerto Rico from July 7-13. This is the first time St. Lucia has progressed so deep into qualification and they are looking to go even further this time around.
The General Secretary of the St. Lucia Volleyball Association has attributed the progress being achieved by both Male and Female Teams to the hard work players, the coaching staff and administrators have been putting into the development of the sport over the last five to ten years.
The teams will resume their intense preparation for these high level competitions in the first week of February.