Group 2 season gets underway with first game in Poland


Zielona Gora, Poland, June 3, 2016 - Czechia and Puerto Rico will open the season in Group 2 of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016.  The two squads will face each other in the first match of the tournament in Zielona Gora.

• Czech Republic and Puerto Rico will face each other for the fifth time in international competitions, with the Czech girls having won three of the previous four encounters.
• Puerto Rico's win came at last year's World Grand Prix, when they won 3-2 in the first stage of Group 2.
• Czech Republic took revenge a few weeks later when they defeated Puerto Rico 3-1 in the match for third/fourth place in the Final Four of Group 2.

Czech Republic
• This will be the fourth World Grand Prix campaign for Czech Republic. Their final rank last year was 15th, after reaching the Final Four of Group 2.
• Michaela Mlejnkova scored 110 points at the 2015 World Grand Prix, third-most in Group 2 behind Karina Ocasio (PUR, 146) and Stephanie Enright (PUR, 114).
• Czech Republic ended last year with three defeats at the European Championships. Their last two wins in competitive matches came against Romania in their first match at these championships and against Puerto Rico at the 2015 World Grand Prix. 

Puerto Rico
• Puerto Rico have qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time, after winning the World Olympic Qualification tournament on home soil in May 2016.
• They will compete at the World Grand Prix for the seventh time, with their best result a 10th place on their debut in 2009. Last year, their final rank was 16th.
• Puerto Rico reached the Final Four of Group 2 in 2015, losing their semifinal against Poland and the 3rd/4th place final against Czech Republic.  
• Karin Ocasio was the highest scoring player in Group 2 in 2015 with 146 points. She was the only player in Group 2 to score more than 100 points from spikes (118).
• Puerto Rico have won their last four competitive matches. Their previous defeat came against USA (3-1) in the NORCECA Olympic Qualification tournament.


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