Crushing 3rd Round for Puerto Rico Men's Volleyball

Soto! I believe he can fly...It was a heartbreaking third round for the mens volleyball team competing in Japan at the 2008 FIVB Mens World Cup. With losses to Argentina and Russia, the Puerto Rican team saw their dreams of an automatic Olympics invitation crushed. While the team did beat host country Japan in round three, they have fallen to 6th with a record of 4 wins and 4 losses.

The Argentina loss was the crucial defeat, as I predicted in my last post. With Bulgaria and the United States going undefeated in round three, there is no way Puerto Rico will be able to obtain the critical 3rd position. If you'll recall, the first three finishers in the World Cup will receive an automatic invitation to the 2008 Olympic Games in Bejing China.

With two opponents in the fourth round playing worse than Bulgaria, the Bulgarian team looks to have the best shot at finishing behind the undefeated Russians and the defending world champion team from Brazil.

This has been an exciting story I got caught up in with Puerto Rico's historic defeat of the United States. It has been a tough and demanding tournament for our team, but they have responded to the challenge. Unfortunately for everyone, so has the Bulgarian team, which entered the tournament as a wild card selection.

One special recognition should be mentioned. Hector Soto, from the Puerto Rico mens team is currently in second place among all scorers in the tournament. Only trailing by 9 points, it would be extremely exciting for Soto and Puerto Rico if he were to end the tournament as the top scorer. With games against teams struggling in tournament, Soto could see a lot of action and finish very strongly. Here's wishing him luck in round four.