Canada drops crucial match to Puerto Rico at Pan Am Games

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, - Puerto Rico secured a spot in the quarterfinals in the men’s volleyball tournament at the Pan American Games after defeating Canada 25-22, 25-17, 25-23 on Wednesday.

Puerto Rico and Canada both finish tied at 1-2 in Group B but the Puerto Ricans are alloted third spot and the last berth for the quarterfinals based on a better points for and against ratio. The Canadians will battle for positions five to eight.

Spencer Leiske Lacombe, Alta., had a match-high 14 points while Kevin Miller of Brandon, Man., and Sander Ratsep of  London, Ont., added six points each.

The Canadians were coming off a huge upset victory over the U.S., in five sets on Tuesday, a match that lasted two hours and 15 minutes,

 “We are really disappointed with the loss,’’ said Canada’s captain Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot, Que. ‘’After the match we played yesterday, we are a little bit tired, but we have to learn how to put two solid performances in a row and fix some things.”

Pichette said that Canada’s inexperience showed.

 “We were not able to stop them down the middle,’’ he said. ‘’They put a lot of pressure on our pass with their serves. Our young group has to learn how to manage tough situations, to be more efficient and to be more concentrated.’’

Canada’s next match is Friday at noon or 7 p.m. local time against the loser of one of the two quarterfinals.

Canadian men’s volleyball team roster for the Pan American Games October 15-29 in Guadalajara, Mexico:

Players: Ciaran McGovern, Grande Prairie, Alta.; Spencer Leiske, Lacombe, Alta.; Tyler Santoni, Kingston, Ont.; Sander Ratsep, London, Ont.; Jacob Kilpatrick, Saint John, N.B.; Blair Bann, Edmonton, Alta; Max Burt, Gander, N.L.; Devon Parkinson, Victoria, BC; Reid Halpenny, Grand Bend, Ont.; Tanner Nault, Sherwood Park, Alta.; Louis-Pierre Mainville, Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot, Que; Kevin Miller, Brandon, Man.

Head coach: Vincent Pichette

Team Manager: Julien Boucher

Assistant Coach: Denis Gaboury

Statistician: Christopher Galbraith

Schedule and scores: http://www.norceca.org/2011%20Events/Guadalajara_2011/Calendar%20Mens%20Guadalajara%202011.htm

More information: www.volleyball.ca