Canada wins bronze at Pan Am Championships in women’s sitting volleyball

SAO PAULO, Brazil (October 1, 2011)– Allison Lang of Edmonton scored 14 points to lead Canada to a straight sets (3-0) victory over Colombia for the bronze medal on Saturday night at the Pan Am Championships in women’s sitting volleyball.

The U.S., took the gold medal match over Brazil 25-13, 25-13, 25-15. Brazil grabbed the last berth for the 2012 Paralympic Games by advancing to the final against the Americans. The U.S., had gained its Paralympic berth this past summer with a silver at the world championships.

Amber Skyrpan of Edmonton and Leaha Hickman of Lashburn, Sask., added 12 and 10 points apiece for the Canadians who completed the tournament with a 2-3 overall record.

‘’We played a great serving and blocking game against Columbia,’’ said Canadian team captain Danielle Ellis of Surrey, B.C., who was named the top defensive player of the tournament.

‘’We made huge strides, both as individuals and as a team in the past year.  We managed to close the gap between us and the top teams in our zone and the world. We have the capability and this experience was what we needed to be able to compete at the next level."

Canada fielded a 10-member team with three members from Alberta: Allison Lang, Amber Skyrpan and Jolan Brunner, all of Edmonton. Danielle Ellis and Jordan Funnell are both from Surrey, B.C.; Karen McKoy and Chantal Beauchesne, both of Ottawa.

Manitoba had two players: Emerald Kehler of MacGregor and Leanne Muldrew of Winnipeg. Leaha Hickman of Lashburn, Sask., rounded out the squad.

Dusty Freimark of Edmonton is the head coach and Janna Dubyk of Edmonton, the assistant.