Great start for Canada at NORCECA girls youth volleyball championships

GUATEMALA CITYCanada, represented by the Calgary Dinos under-16 club , produced a brilliant opening match at the 10-country NORCECA girls youth volleyball championships on Tuesday with a convincing 25-10, 25-9, 25-15 victory over Jamaica.

The Canadians dominated with their strong service game to keep the Jamaicans off balance for most of the match.

Megan Festival (pictured) led Canada with 13 points and Carolyn O’Dwyer and Rachael Lynch added nine and six points respectively.

“We were a little nervous at the beginning but then we settled down and felt comfortable,” said Festival, the Canadian team captain. “That was the key for us.”

Canadian head coach Jesse Knight admitted the players were a bit nervous as they entered the international arena for the first time

 “I am happy that all the players contributed,” Knight said. “We felt the pressure of the first match and also of getting used to the new environment and style of play.”

The other Dinos team members are: Gbemisola Olutogun, Carly Heath, Jen Stephenson, Sarah Pradhan, Emmalyn Copping, Kacey Otto, Alexa Gray, Janelle Hoff and Mariah Walsh.

Canada is in group C with Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Canada plays its next round robin match Wednesday against the Dominicans. The two pool winners with best points-ratio after the round robin will advance directly to the semifinal phase while the third first place team will play in the quarterfinals against the second place sides.

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