Canada upsets U.S., advances to U21 Continental Final

SAN SALVADOR – Canada upset the U.S. in a thrilling semifinal on Saturday night at the U21 NORCECA (North and Central America and Caribbean)  Championships in men’s volleyball and also locked up a berth for next year’s FIVB World Championships for the age group with the victory.

The Canadians took the two-hour match 23-25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-22 15-9.  Brandon Koopers of Georgetown, Ont., led all scorers with 20 points and Lucas Coleman of Brooklin, Ont., added 14 including five blocks  Canada also scored five aces.

“I feel very excited because we will go to the worlds next year,’’ said Canadian team captain Ryan Nickifor of Sherwood Park, Alta.  ‘’We’ve always had a great rivalry against the U.S. and that motivated us even more.”

Canada’s head coach John Barrett said his troops were confident.

 “We had a great match,’’ he said.  ‘’I trusted my players and they took advantage of their opportunities.  The United  State  were a  great  opponent  which  fought  to  the  end.  The players believed in themselves and the team, now wants to be the champions”.

Canada faces Cuba for the gold at 7 p.m. Sunday night.