Canadian women’s and men’s volleyball teams will go for gold tomorrow

May 18, 2014, Mississauga, ON, CAN:  Today in NORCECA’s third-round of Men’s World Championship Qualification (Pool Q) round-robin play, Canada quickly beat Costa Rica 25-14, 25-16, 25-12 in a preview of tomorrow’s gold medal final.

Both undefeated until today, Canada will again meet Costa Rica for the gold medal and the only berth for the FIVB World Championships in Poland in the fall.

 “This morning we had a really long and tough training session, so the guys stayed focused and concentrated for this game,” said Glenn Hoag, Canada’s head coach. “Tomorrow is one more step that we need to go through to get to the Worlds.” 

Canada’s Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, Sask., was the top scorer with 14, followed by Toontje van Lankvelt of Brandon, MB, with 13; and Jason DeRocco of East St. Paul, MB, had another big game today with 12 points.

“Costa Rica was not bad, and they have a couple of good players, but we were prepared. We did a lot of jumping this morning – we practised hard – it’s a long tournament and there are still things that we need to work on.  We’re looking forward to tomorrow,” said opposite Gavin Schmitt.

Richard Smith Hall was again the top contributor to Costa Rica’s effort with six points.

Canada’s women’s team also advanced nicely to the gold medal match at the third round of NORCECA Women’s World Championship Qualification (Group S) today.

In the final game of round-robin play, Canada took care of business, beating the U.S. Virgin Islands’ team in three sets – 25-12, 25-9, 25-11.

Canada will face Mexico, who earlier today beat Jamaica, for the gold medal tomorrow evening at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

“We got the job done and are looking forward to tomorrow,” said Arnd Ludwig, Canada’s coach. “It will be a lot tougher in the final; we saw that yesterday with Mexico. So we have to be awake and aggressive and can’t let our guard down at all. We have to be sharp from the first to the last point.”

Dana Cranston of Fort St. John, BC, was Canada’s top scorer with 20. Shanice Marcelle of Victoria, BC, had 11 points and Kyla Richey of Robert's Creek, BC, contributed 10.

Tamisha Barry and Sacha Gumbs both had five points for USVI.

Tomorrow’s gold medal match takes place at 8 pm Eastern for the women. Canada needs to win tomorrow to qualify for the World Championships, which are held in Italy, Sept. 23 to Oct. 12, 2014.

 “These games test your fundamentals.  It was nice to get in there and just really be able to execute at a high level,” said Cranston.  “As far as Mexico goes tomorrow, I think the second time you play a team after you win, they are going to have a little chip on their shoulder.  We know they are going to come out with their guns firing. They play at such a consistent level all the time, and they are going to bring their A game.”

The Mexican women dominated the Jamaicans earlier today.  Mexico won in three sets 25-11, 25-16, 25-21, with Andrea Rangel contributing 18 points, and outside hitter Zaira Orellana adding 12 to her team’s effort.

Sasha-Lee Wallen contributed 10 points to Jamaica’s game, but despite working hard in the third, her team was no match for the more controlled Mexican team.

“The game tomorrow will be strong, very strong, but my team is working very hard. Tomorrow is the most important match.   Even though we are a young team, I think that if our service game is strong we can win tomorrow,” said Jorge Miguel Azair, Mexican coach.

In other men’s action, Panama and Trinidad kept fans on the edge of their seats with a four-set match that saw Panama win 26-28, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19.

The first set challenged both teams with Trinidad finally ending the back and forth at 28 points.  However, Panama rebounded to win the next three sets. Yesterday Panama lost to Costa Rica, so today’s match was a much needed boost for the team.  Overall, Domingo Avila had 19 attack points and one block, to lead his team in scoring with 20 points. Marc Honore had a solid game for Trinidad with 20 points - 13 kills and six blocks.

All games are live-streamed at: