Canada advances to quarterfinals at Pan American Cup men’s volleyball tournament

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Canada advanced to the quarterfinals on Wednesday with an impressive straight sets victory over Colombia at the Pan American Cup men’s volleyball tournament.

 

The Canadians, ranked 20th in the world, evened their record to 1-1 defeating a young Colombian squad 28-26, 25-16, 25-14. This is the first tournament of the 2010 season for Canada which is ultimately preparing for the world championships this September in Italy.

 

Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., one of the top pro players in Europe this winter, led the Canadian attack with 14 points including two service aces. He also led the squad in digs with six. Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., (in photo) added nine points and Canada’s most experienced player, Fred Winters of Victoria, playing in his 139th match for Team Canada, notched eight.

 

Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., was pleased to see his squad bounce back after a five-set loss to Brazil on Tuesday.

 

“We are starting our international season and playing these games will help us to put things together,” said Hoag. “Colombia played well for a set and a half and then we started to block a little bit better. As I said before this is the start of our preparation for the world championship and teams here play at a very good level”.

 

Brazil finishes first in pool A with a perfect 2-0 mark followed by Canada and Colombia at 0-2. Argentina has also clinched pool C and is assured a berth in the semi finals while the U.S., and Puerto battle for first spot in pool B later Wednesday.

 

Canada’s next opponent is still unknown but the quarterfinal matches are slated for 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. (EDT) and will be carried live at mediasports.tv.

 

Canadian roster for the Pan Am Cup: 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.