Powerhouse Brazil downs Canada in men’s volleyball at Pan Am Games

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The men’s volleyball tournament at the 2011 Pan Am Games got underway on Monday and Canada lost its opening round robin match to defending champion Brazil 25-17, 25-13, 25-13.

Canada, which is fielding its full time national training centre squad while its national team players are fulfilling their professional commitments overseas was led by Spencer Leiske of Lacombe, Alta., with 10 points. All 12 Canadian players made an appearance on the court.

It was a match of few errors from both sides (15 by Canada and 14 by Brazil) that lasted one hour and four minutes. The winners held a 9-4 advantage in blocking and blanked Canada 5-0 in service aces.

“This was a little bit disappointing,’’ said Canada’s captain Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile, a national team member at his first tournament since undergoing knee surgery this spring.

‘’Brazil is a very experienced team. Our sequences were not so good, but we have seen improvements, since the last time we played. We expect a good performance for the rest of the tournament.”

Canada knew what was ahead after playing some pre-tournament matches against the Brazilians last week at a preparation camp.

“We have a young team and we have learned some good and positive things,’’ said Canada’s head coach Vincent Pichette. ‘’Brazil put a lot of pressure with their serves and we had some problems on the block. We have to learn as young players to manage these situations.”

Canada meets the U.S., on Tuesday.

Canadian men’s volleyball team roster for the Pan American Games October 15-29 in Guadalajara, Mexico:


Players: Ciaran McGovern, Grande Prairie, Alta.; Spencer Leiske, Lacombe, Alta.; Tyler Santoni, Kingston, Ont.; Sander Ratsep, London, Ont.; Jacob Kilpatrick, St. John, N.B.; Blair Bann, Edmonton, Alta; Max Burt, Gander, N.L.; Devon Parkinson, Victoria, BC; Reid Halpenny, Grand Bend, Ont.; Tanner Nault, Sherwood Park, Alta.; Louis-Pierre Mainville, Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot, Que; Kevin Miller, Brandon, Man.

Head coach: Vincent Pichette

Team Manager: Julien Boucher

Assistant Coach: Denis Gaboury

Statistician: Christopher Galbraith