Canada falls to Brazil at Pan Am Cup

June 17, 2011

Canada falls to Brazil at Pan Am Cup

GATINEAUCanada raised its game but it wasn’t enough against powerhouse Brazil in a 25-20, 29-27, 25-16 loss on Friday in a semifinal match at the Pan Am Cup men’s volleyball tournament.

With the loss Canada faces Puerto Rico in the bronze medal match set for Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Centre Robert Guertin in Gatineau. The Brazilians head to the championship final against the U.S., at 8 pm.  The Americans, three time defending champions, defeated Puerto Rico in straight sets to advance.

‘’Brazil is a better team right now,’’ said Team Canada’s Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, who led the Canadian attack with 14 points. ‘’They are more consistent and more disciplined. It’s a learning process right now and we saw what we need to work on in this match.’’

The turning point in the match was the second set. Canada trailed most of the set but made a late charge when Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., nailed a service to make it 23-24 and the Brazilians then had trouble handling his next serve which tied the match.  Perrin ended the match with 11 points.  Brazil had set point five times before sealing it.

‘’They were better in their execution and simply didn’t make many errors,’’ said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. ‘’Right now it’s important for us to play matches and that’s what is going to help us.’’

It was also Canada’s first loss of the tournament after going 2-0 in the round robin and beating Mexico in the quarterfinal. 

It was a big night for Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., who played his 200th international match for Team Canada.

On the Brazilian side, Paulo Silva had 18 points and Douglas Cordeiro 12.

‘’We were able to challenge Canada’s strengths which are blocking and serving,’’ said Brazil’s head coach Flavio Marinho. ‘’We have never won the Pan Am Cup because we have always sent young teams. It would be an important for our country to win this.’'

June 17, 2011

U.S.A advances to championship final at Pan Am Cup

GATINEAU – The full team concept continued to pay dividends for the U.S., on Friday as they defeated Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-17, 25-14 in the championship semifinal at the Pan Am Cup men’s volleyball tournament.

Eleven of the 12 players (minus the Libero) put their name on the scoresheet for the Americans, the three-time defending champions. Jayson Jablonsky and William Price were the top marksmen for the U.S., with 10 points each.

‘’The strength is our total team effort,’’ said U.S., head coach Gordon Mayforth. ‘’They are easy to coach because they remind each other to keep focused. Our transition game was very strong tonight and we wanted to win the rallies.’’

‘’We had a bit of slow start,’’ said U.S., captain Robert Tarr. ‘’But we kept on about each other to stay consistent and pass the ball well.’’

Ulises Maldonado and Ezequiel Cruz scored 10 points each for Puerto Rico.

‘’We knew we were playing a good team and their serves were like bombs,’’ said Puerto Rico’s captain Edgardo Goas. ‘’There were some things we could have done better and we hoped we learned from that.’’

‘’Being exposed to this level of play is great for our young team,’’ added Puerto Rico’s head coach Ariel Diaz. ‘’Sometimes we had some good rallies but the U.S., capitalized on our mistakes.’’

The U.S., play the winner of the Canada-Brazil semifinal later Friday while Puerto Rico will play the loser of that match for the bronze.

June 17, 2011 

Mexico digs deep to beat the Dominican Republic in consolation semifinal

GATINEAU – Setter Pedro Rangel not only sparkled with his powerful serve and precise passing but led Mexico with 11 points in a 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 win over the Dominican Republic in a consolation semifinal match at the Pan American Cup volleyball tournament.

With the win Mexico advances to the fifth place match against Venezuela. The Dominicans will battle for seventh spot against Argentina.

‘’It wasn’t an easy game,’’ said Mexico’s head coach Jorge Azair. ‘’We’re both young restructuring teams. On our side we paid the price for preparing well enough physically for this tournament.’’

“The Dominican Republic are always a tough team to play against,’’ added Mexico’s captain Jorge Quinones. 

Quinones and Tomas Aguilera added nine points each.

Pedro Luis Garcia was the game’s top scorer in a losing cause with 18. Elnis Palomino added 14 and Eduardo Concepcion 13 for the Dominican.

‘’We hoped we would be fighting for fifth place,’’ said Dominican Republic’s coach Jacinto Campechano. ‘’This is a young group. Our goal is to win our next match against Argentina.’

‘’It’s been a great experience so far,’’ added Concepcion. ‘’We fought as best we could with a very new team.’’

June 17, 2011

Venezuela zooming in on fifth place at Pan Am Cup

GATINEAU – Kervin Pinerua and Jhoser Contreras scored 18 points each to lead Venezuela to a 25-11, 26-24, 16-25, 27-25 victory over Argentina in a consolation semifinal Friday at the Pan Am Cup men’s volleyball tournament.

With the victory, Venezuela advances to the fifth place match against the winner of the Mexico-Dominican Republic consolation semi later Friday. Argentina will face the loser of that match for seventh.

‘’It was a difficult game for both teams,’’ said Venezuela’s head coach Idolo Herrera. ‘’This was the time we needed to play well. We have fulfilled our goals so far.’’

‘’We have a very good rivalry with Venezuela,’’ said Pinerua. ‘’In head to head competition they have won more often so it’s great for our confidence.’’

Augustin Ramonda and Ivan Castellani replied with 14 points apiece for Argentina which fielded its national junior team in preparation for the world junior championships later this summer.

‘’We are the only true junior team here, all the others have some senior players,’’ said Argentina’s head coach Juan Manuel Cichello. ‘’Still, we expected to play better.’’

‘’It’s hard to say anything in an emotional moment like this,’’ said Argentina’s setter and captain Juan Ignacio Finoli. ‘’It was a disappointing result for our team.’’

June 17, 2011

Bahamas places ninth at Pan Am Cup with historic win

GATINEAU – The Bahamas earned its first ever victory at the Pan Am Cup men’s volleyball tournament on Friday defeating Panama 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 in the ninth place match.

It was the Bahamas’ first appearance in the six-year history of the tournament. They had loss their first four matches this week, although clearly improved each time out.

‘’As the tournament progressed our players got more comfortable,’’ said Bahamas head coach Raymond Wilson. ‘’The key for us is to be more consistent and not always come from behind.’’

Renaldo Knowles and Byron Ferguson each had 17 points for the victors while Princtanique Wilson added 15.

‘’It means a lot for the players to get this win,’’ said Knowles. ‘’We have confidence now that we can play at this level of tournament.’’

Edward Diaz was the top point-getter for Panama with 15 points. Ricardo Brown added 10.

‘’Bahamas was more concentrated and organized,’’ said Panama’s coach Sergio Ballestas. ‘’We could have tried harder.’’

Panama finishes in 10th place.