Canada advances to quarterfinals at NORCECA junior women’s volleyball championships

TIJUANA, Mexico – Canada delivered another strong performance at the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation)  junior women’s volleyball championships on Wednesday in a 17-25, 25-12, 25-18, 25-23 round robin loss to the Dominican Republic, one of the gold medal favourites at the tournament.

The Canadians, represented by the national 18U champions Brandon Tri-Star Storm, conclude the round robin at 1-1 for second place in their pool. They advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday with their opponent to be determined based on the outcome of later matches Wednesday.

“It was probably one of the best games we ever played,” said middle Meaghan Robertson who earned eight points for Canada. “We knew they were going to come back strong after the first set but we continued to play hard and every point mattered. We made plays that we’ve never made before.”

Lisa Barclay led the Canadian attack with 15 points, Jennifer Dixon added 10 and Erika Buchanan nine. Dixon and Barclay had two services aces each and Dixon was also the team leader in digs with seven.

“The biggest challenge for us was their speed on offence,’’ said Robertson. “It was very fast. Their libero was particularly strong and we had difficulties keeping it away from her. Still we’ve gained a lot of confidence so far and we are ready for more.”

The Dominicans win the pool with a 2-0 record and Costa Rica, 0-2 goes to the consolation round. Cuba and Puerto Rico showdown for top spot in pool B later Wednesday as do Mexico and the U.S., in pool C.