Canada’s men’s national senior team opens season at Pan Am Cup May 24- 29 in Puerto Rico

OTTAWA – Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., the head coach of Canada’s senior men’s volleyball team finalized his line-up today for the Pan Am Cup tournament May 24-29 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

This is the first tournament of the 2010 season for Team Canada, currently ranked 20th in the world, which is ultimately preparing for the world championships this September in Italy. A 19-member senior national team was announced last week following a selection camp and 12 of those players are headed to San Juan.

“We are going into this tournament with little preparation as a team,” said Hoag. “So we really want to find our rhythm again. Many players have only recently arrived from their seasons in Europe so there will be a certain level of fatigue and some are dealing with some wear and tear injuries. So we need to be vigilant with that.”

The Canadians headed to San Juan are: Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-dame-de-l’Isle, Que., Adam Kaminski of Chatham, Ont., Adam Simac of Ottawa, Fred Winters of Victoria, Steve Gotch of Okotoks, Alta., Nicolas Cundy of Edmonton, Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., and Olivier Faucher of Plessisville, Que.

At the Pan Am Cup, Canada is in pool A with Brazil, currently ranked number-one in the world, and Colombia ranked 24thCanada opens the round robin Tuesday May 25 against the Brazilians and meets Colombia on Wednesday.

Group B is comprised of the U.S., ranked second internationally, Mexico and Puerto Rico and the Group C teams are world number-10 Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. The round robin will be followed by a playoff round with quarterfinals on Thursday, semis on Friday and the final on Saturday. A top-two pool finish in the round robin is needed to advance.

“The result for us will have a certain importance,” said Hoag. “We don’t know the line-ups of the other teams yet but obviously Brazil will definitely have high quality players. But winning is our top objective and we want to get the season off to a good start.”