Canada wins the bronze medal at NORCECA men’s volleyball championships

MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico – Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon produced 21 points as Canada defeated Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-23, 25-14 on Saturday to win the bronze medal at the eight-country NORCECA (North and Central America and Caribbean) men’s volleyball championships.

It is Canada’s first medal at the bi-annual tournament since placing third in 2005. The Canadians, ranked 22nd in the world, also finish the tournament with a 4-1 record overall and have beaten number-15 Puerto Rico in all four meeting over the past month.

‘’It feels good to be on the podium even though the goal was to be in the final,’’ said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. The top-two in the tournament advanced to the World Cup final in November.

‘’Our team really matured in the past year and it augurs well for the future.’’

Canada’s other top scorers on Saturday were Toon Van Lankvelt of River, Man., with 14 points and Fred Winters of Victoria with 13.

‘’I was worried the players would be a little tired after yesterday’s disappointment, (a close semifinal loss to Cuba), but they answered the call,’’ said Hoag.

The championship final between the U.S., and Cuba was held later Saturday.

Canadian roster for the NORCECA men’s volleyball championships August 29 to September 3, 2011 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

Players: Steve Brinkman, Bowmanville, Ont.; Nicholas Cundy, Edmonton; Josh Howatson, Victoria; Dan Lewis, Oakville, Ont.; Gord Perrin, Creston, B.C.; Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon; Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man.; Adam Simac, Ottawa; Alexandre Gaumont-Casias, Marieville, Que.; Toon Van Lankvelt, River, Man.; Fred Winters, Victoria; Justin Duff, Winnipeg.

Head coach: Glenn Hoag, Gatineau, Que.

Assistant coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau

Team manager; Julien Boucher, Quebec City.


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