Canada falls to Cuba at Pan Am Cup women’s volleyball tournament


ROSARITO, Mexico – The Canadian women’s volleyball team are in an almost must win situation in order to advance to the playoff round after a hard-fought loss to Cuba on Saturday in round robin action at the Pan Am Cup.

The Cubans, ranked sixth in the world, took the match 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 in one hour and 39 minutes. Canada, which lost in five sets to Argentina on Friday, drops to 0-2.

Top scorers for Canada were Tonya Mokelki of Weyburn, Sask., with 16 points, Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., with 15, team captain Tammy Mahon of Holland, Man., (photo) with 11 and Jennifer Hinze of Vancouver with 10. Both Pavan and Mokelki earned three of their points on service aces.

“We came out very well in the first set then struggled with the same elements as we did in Friday’s match,” said Mahon. “But we fought hard and never got down throughout the match and if we keep that approach we’re going to be O.K. We’ve got plenty of talent to quickly turn this around.”

Cuba leads the A pool with four points (2-0), idle Argentina is tied with the Dominican Republic (which defeated Brazil in its opening match Saturday), at two points (1-0 each) while Brazil and Canada are winless in their first two matches.

The Canadians play Brazil on Monday and the Dominican on Tuesday. The top-three in each of the two pools advance to the playoffs which start June 24. The U.S., leads pool B with four points after a victory Saturday over Puerto Rico.

“The day off is going to give us a chance to rest and also see how we can match up best against Brazil,” said Mahon. “We just need to keep focused on our side of the court and continue to get a strong contribution from all 12 players.”

This is Canada’s first tournament in 2010 as they ultimately prepare for the world championships this fall in Japan.

Canadian roster for the Pan Am Cup women’s volleyball tournament June 19-26 in Tijuana, Mexico.

Players; Tammy Mahon, Holland, Man.; Tonya Mokelki, Weyburn, Sask.; Ashley Voth, Winnipeg; Kyla Richey, Roberts Creek, B.C.; Jennifer Hinze, Vancouver; Marisa Field, Kelowna, B.C.; Tasha Holness, Calgary; Sarah Pavan, Kitchener, Ont.; Carla Bradstock, Richmond, B.C.; Janie Guimond, Bécancour, Que.; Julie Young, Red Deer, Alta.; Lauren O'Reilly, Langley, B.C.

Head Coach Arnd Ludwig

Assistant Coach Scott Koskie

Team Manager Diane Scott

Athletic Therapist Ben Trunzo

Statistician David Carrassco