Players of USA and Mexico pose together for a picture before their match with a fully crowded stadium in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe, Argentina, August 22, 2017 - In front of a full crowd that visited the National Technological University Stadium in the morning session, Mexico and the United States played a very intense match.
But minutes before the warming up time and the national anthems ceremony both teams posed for a picture beside the net and on the same side of the court as a gesture of friendship and camaraderie between both teams and both countries.
This match also had a special touch when Syrian referee Maissaa Hachem was designated to make the calls supported by Peruvian Rocio Huarcaya.
Local authorities in Argentina declared the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship as a Cultural and Sports Interest Event in the Province of Santa Fe.
After this, many schools and clubs of Santa Fe city arrived into the stadium to show their support for both teams. More than 4000 persons were part of the attendance.
As members of the North, Central American and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA) Mexico and USA have several things in common. Their teams play various tournaments in every age group.
Also, there have been solid ties between the regional development programs, especially in the border communities, where some Mexican teams have taken the chance to participate in tournaments organized by USA Volleyball as special invitees.
This exposure has given great benefits for the development of many youngsters in regions like Baja California, Jalisco or Nuevo Leon, which are in the National Top Ten.
In 2011, Samantha Bricio captured the attention of many American college scouts in a tour made by the Mexican National team across Arizona just months before the beginning of the U18 World Championship that was played in Turkey.
Some years later, Bricio granted a scholarship and began to play at the collegiate level with the University Southern California Trojans and made history by setting many records in the Pac-10 Conference and the NCAA.
She became the second Mexican player that achieved many honors, like Pan American beach volleyball silver medal winner and former Olympic player Bibiana Candelas did playing on the hard court in the same campus.
Some players like Natalie Nava, who was part of the Baja California regional programs and has been called up to the National Under Age Team has had the experience of playing in both countries despite her young age.
She awarded the opportunity of been recruited by a Club in Hawaii where she also studies, so she has begun to get the best of both worlds.
In the last years, several Mexican players who have participated in Age Group world championships have been recruited by American Universities to play in the NCAA.
At the same time, some coaches who reside in the southern border of the States have visited the Regional Development Centre located on the Mexican side in the city of Tijuana, where to take the course and seminars certified by the FIVB and also some American clubs have held training camps in Mexico as part of a continuous exchange.
Actions, sweat, and emotions were left on the UTN´s court as a great symbol of fraternity and sportswomanship that shared the love for volleyball.