Tucuman, Argentina, June 3, 2016 - The Dominican Republic and Bulgaria will play each other in the opening match of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 Group 2 tournament in Argentina coming to Tucuman with different levels of Grand Prix experience.
• Dominican Republic and Bulgaria have met two times before in major competitions.
• At the 1978 World Championship, Bulgaria won 3-0 and at the 2013 World Grand Prix, Dominican Republic won 3-2 after a 16-14 final set victory.
• Dominican Republic have lost their last eight matches against European opponents at the World Grand Prix since a 3-2 win against Turkey in 2014.
• Bulgaria have won five of their eight World Grand Prix matches against NORCECA teams, including their last two in 2015 (both against Puerto Rico).
• This is the 13th year Dominican Republic are competing in the World Grand Prix. Their best result is an eight-place finish in 2006 and 2010.
• Last year they played in World Grand Prix Group 1 but lost all nine group matches in straight sets, finishing 12th.
• Dominican Republic will not compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after finishing sixth at the World Olympic Qualifying tournament in Japan in May.
• Despite missing out on the Olympic ticket, they ended the tournament on a high-note claiming two successive wins, against Kazakhstan (3-1) and against Korea (3-0).
• Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez became the fourth-highest scorer in Japan with 122 points, including 111 spikes, while Brenda Castillo was the best digger of all players (3.83 average per set).
• Bulgaria are participating for the fourth time in the World Grand Prix, after finishing ninth in 2013, 21st in 2014 and 17th last year.
• Bulgaria finished fifth in Group 2 in 2015, failing to reach the Final Four of the group.
• Eva Yaneva (77) and Yulia Stoyanova (74) were the highest scoring players for Bulgaria at last year's World Grand Prix.
• Bulgaria can end a losing streak of three in competitive matches, after suffering three defeats in the group stage of the 2015 European Championship.