Colombia's Amanda Coneo spikes against the home team's block during a 2017 World Grand Prix match in Peru
Lausanne, Switzerland, October 10, 2017 – Four South American teams are counting down to the biggest challenge of the year - winning the continent's last remaining berth at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Japan 2018. The qualification tournament, which will be held at well over 2,300 metres above sea level, in Arequipa, Peru, from October 13 through 15, will feature the teams of Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay. Brazil claimed the other spot at Japan 2018, available to the CSV, by winning the 2017 South American Championship that took place in Cali, Colombia last August.
The Coliseo Arequipa, with capacity for eight thousand spectators, will set the stage for this three-day qualification tournament. After 20 years, the Peruvian national team makes a sentimental return to Arequipa, dubbed The White City, hoping to repeat history. This is where they achieved their qualification for the 1998 World Championship, also held in Japan. The bronze medallists from this year’s South American Championship were greeted by hundreds of fans as they arrived at the airport in Arequipa several days before the matches.
"We have been working on a better game strategy and we are seeing the results. At the Gatorade Cup in Lima, our team played against three teams from the Brazilian Super League and this has allowed us to fine-tune some details,” said Peru’s coach Luizomar de Moura.
The national team of Argentina has also been getting ready for their last challenge of the year. After preparing for several days at the CeNARD in Buenos Aires, coach Guillermo Orduna narrowed his squad down to 14 players and took them to the city of Humahuaca, situated at over 3000 metres above sea level, to adapt to high altitude conditions.
After claiming silver at the South American Championship, the Brazilian head coach of Colombia, Antonio Rizola, has set World Championship qualification as the next goal for his team. “We have to respect our opponents, but we need to know that we can beat each one of them,” he stated.
Uruguay’s team will be travelling to Arequipa on Wednesday. Coaches Paola Galusso and Maximiliano Santiago have been training a squad of 13 players, most of them aged under 22, at the Sanguinetti gym in Montevideo. “Our objective is to gain international experience. For many of our young players this will be the first major tournament. We are aware that we will face very high-level teams, but we will fight for each point as equals,” said Lia Fortunatti, one of the members of the Uruguayan team.
Match schedule (all times local):
October 13, 17:00 – Argentina v Colombia
October 13, 19:00 – Peru v Uruguay
October 14, 17:00 – Uruguay v Argentina
October 14, 19:00 – Peru v Colombia
October 15, 16:00 – Colombia v Uruguay
October 15, 18:00 – Peru v Argentina