Canada shows improvement in loss to Dominican at Pan Am Cup

ROSARITO, MexicoCanada delivered its best match on Tuesday at the Pan Am Cup women’s volleyball tournament but it wasn’t enough to beat a strong Dominican Republic team.

The Dominicans took the match 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-14 to move to three wins and one loss and guarantee itself a berth in the quarterfinals. The Canadians complete the round robin at 0-4 but still have a shot to finish as high as fifth in the nine-country tournament.

Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., (photo) was the top scorer in the match with 17 points, team captain Tammy Mahon of Holland, Man., added 13 and Tonya Mokelki of Weyburn, Sask., 11. Julie Young of Red Deer, Alta., led all players with 18 digs.

The Canadians were coming off a self-described disappointing performance on Monday against Brazil.

“It was a different team tonight,” said Mahon, in her ninth season on the national team. “At a tournament like this there’s always some concern whether you can turn things around quickly but tonight we showed we are a character team by putting our previous game behind us.”

Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek said Canada’s height made things difficult for his troops.

Canada was a tough opponent, they played well with good blocking game,” said Kwiek. “We knew we had to face a very physical match against Canada. We had to employ our best attack and best players to win.”

Canada’s head coach Arnd Ludwig while pleased with the improvement wanted a better finish to the match.

“We started well on the first set, but we gave away points on the second, when you do that you can´t expect to win at this level,” he said. We must close with more power at the end.”

Cuba, Argentina and the Dominican Republic will grab the three playoff spots in the A pool. Argentina and Cuba played later Tuesday with first spot and bye to the semis on the line.

In the B pool, the U.S., and Peru are through while Trinidad and Tobago plays Puerto Rico late Tuesday for the third and final playoff spot.

Canada will face, the loser of the Trinidad- Puerto Rico match in its first consolation encounter on Thursday.

“We still have a shot to finish well,” said Mahon. “We feel we are gaining momentum.”

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