Canada To Play in Bronze Medal Match Saturday at Final Four

The men's team representing Canada at the Final Four tournament in Mexico lost last night to the host country 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 27-25). Canada will now play Venezuela for a bronze medal Nov. 09 (2pm, local, 3pm EST).

Mexico topped Canada in blocking (10-6), in kills (44-31) and in service points (3-2).

"Since this was Mexico's senior team, we had a lot of information on them already," explained Canada's coach Vincent Pichette.

The Canadian team is made up of athletes from the national team's full-time training centre (Gatineau, Que.), and the players are gaining valuable international experience. "The team is improving with each match, but we just weren't able to convert points offensively ... We made less direct mistakes than yesterday (vs Dominican Republic) on serving and hitting, but Mexico is a good defensive team and were able to contain us," said Pichette.

Tomas Aguilera topped Mexico's offense over the net with 12 points while Jesus Valdes chipped in with 11 points and Samuel Cordova with 10. Dane Pischke (Winnipeg, MB) was Canada's best scorer with 14 points.

"Libero Steve Marshall (Abbotsford, BC) was solid on defense and serve receive, and Justin Boudreault is improving as our starting setter. We're also fortunate to have Dustin Schneider (Brandon, MB) here with us, who is very good at supporting and guiding Justin on and off the court," said Pichette.

"This is a good experience for all of us,” said Justin Boudreault of St-Joseph-de-Beauce, QC in a report on norceca.net.

This is the first event of its kind, organized by the NORCECA Volleyball Confederation and the Pan American Volleyball, and held in Gymnasium Nuevo Leon Unido of the city of Monterrey.