PRESS RELEASE 18.12.2003


Canada got its first triumph

December 17, 2003 - Canada had a game of peaks and valleys but found the way to defeat Mexico in consecutive sets for its first victory in the NORCECA’s Women Olympic Qualifier keeping alive the chances to make the semifinal phase.

The Canadians had to overcome a 23-20 deficit in the first set to prevail 27-25. The North Americans came back strong in the second set that saw them overmatch the Mexicans 25-8. The third set was tied at 19, when Sarah Pavan and Barb Bellini responded with solid shots to give Canada the match finishing 25-20.

“Mexico played great in the first set and gave us a lot of problems, but we made the key points to erase the deficit,” said Lorne Sawula, the Canadian coach. “I am very proud of the way my team responded in a must win situation and the way they handled the pressure.”

Jorge Azair, the Mexican coach, said: “We played a good first set with our service and defense, but at the end we committed some mistakes and we let the set to escape. The result of the second set was a consequence of the first and my team lost the concentration. We came back in the third and played evenly with the Canadians but once again our reception failed in the late stages.”

Pavan led all the scorers with 16 points, Bellini added 14 and Melissa Raymond had 13. For the Mexicans, Martha Revuelta scored 14.