Canada’s Men and Women Earn to Compete at the Worlds

May 19, 2014, Mississauga, ON, CAN:   Both the men’s and women’s national volleyball teams won their respective qualifiers today and have booked their tickets to the 2014 FIVB World Championships.

In the gold medal matches, the Canadian men dashed Costa Rica’s hopes today; while the women overcame the Mexicans.  It was the first time that both the Canadian men and women were able to qualify on home soil.

For the men, it was NORCECA’s third-round of Men’s World Championship Qualification (Pool Q) tournament and Canada defeated the smaller Costa Ricans in three sets:  25-14, 25-15, 25-16.

Dallas Soonias (Red Deer, AB) and Gord Perrin (Creston, BC) led scoring for Canada with 13 each, followed by captain Fred Winters with 12. Canada kept Costa Rica’s top scorer Richard Smith Hall in check and he only managed five points today, and Alberto Blanco Segnini also contributed five.  

Canada’s coach, Glenn Hoag, was happy to have a successful outcome, and is looking ahead to World League in Calgary that opens on May 31 against Finland. 

“We came here to qualify for the Worlds and we did that,” said Hoag. “We have a lot to work on because the guys have just come together after the pro season.  Our next opponents (Finland at World League) will be much harder. We needed to go through this process, and now we’ve got our ticket to Poland.” Canada is ranked 11th in the World. The men’s Worlds will be held in Poland in the fall.

“It’s a good opportunity to showcase where we are at right now, and prepare for World League,” said Canadian libero Dan Lewis, who was named tournament MVP. 

Also today, Canada’s women’s national team also won gold in their event - the third round of NORCECA Women’s World Championship Qualification (Group S) . This gives the Canadians a spot at the World Championships in Italy Sept. 23 to Oct. 12, 2014.

The home-crowd favourites beat Mexico in three sets – 25-16, 25-19, 25-17. Kyla Richey of Roberts Creek, BC, led Canada with 14 points (12 attacks, and two blocks). Tabitha Love of Dauphin, Manitoba, added 12 to Canada’s total.

“We put in so much effort, and we haven’t had much time together because we’ve all just come back from our pro season,” explained Kyla Richey of Roberts Creek, BC. “We worked so hard in the last two and a half weeks we had together.  It’s so great to have our ticket to Italy.   We’re back and our level of play was raised.”

Andrea Rangel had 12 points for Mexico, and was top scorer for this tournament.

On the men’s side, the bronze medal went to Trinidad. It took four sets (19-25, 28-26, 20-25, 19-25) to finish off Panama this afternoon.

“I feel like today we played a lot more collective as a team and as a unit. We served, passed, and blocked more consistently,” said Nolan Tash, Trinidad’s captain. “We had a much more consistent game and the results showed on the court. Panama is no team to underestimate because they play straight from start to end, they never give up, and they have a lot of resilience.”

In the women’s bronze medal match, it took three sets (25-13, 25-10, 25-11) to relegate the US Virgin Islands to fourth place. Simone Asque led Jamaica with 17 points, and Tahleia Bishop contributed 13.

“We were disappointed to not be in the final, but we still came here today to win. We have learned a lot playing teams like Canada,” said Ortnel Findlay, Jamaica’s coach. “It has been a good experience. There was a lot of teamwork on the court today, and I’m pleased with the outcome.”

Overall, the event was a success for Canada and served as a test event for the Pan Am Games in 2015.

“We are happy to have Canada qualify on home soil, which is historic, but we know we have a busy season ahead for both teams and a lot of work to do,” said Julien Boucher, High Performance Director for indoor programs.

On May 31 in Calgary, Canada kicks off its World League campaign.

For more information, contact, Jackie Skender - mobile: 613.794.7676

jskender@volleyball.ca