Winnipeg, CANANDA , August 5, 2004 - Although it was Sarah Pavan (ON) who again led the Canadians with 18 points, it was a full team effort as the Canadian Women's Junior National Team pulled off a big upset when they defeated Cuba, the all-odds favorites at his event in 3 straight sets 25-19, 25-17, 25-23.
Canada took the bull by the horn in the opening set leading the entire time cruising to a 21-19 victory. Stellar play on the part of all the Canadian players and uncharacteristic errors by the Cubans gave Canada a relatively easy second set victory at 25-17.
Set three, Cuba finally began to show some life, at one point holding a 12-9 lead over Canada. The Canadian's did not lie down and in fact stormed back to take a 24-18 lead forcing Cuba into a time-out. Cuba made on last run at Canada but the ladies held their ground winning the third 25-23 and the match.
"After yesterdays performance we had to bounce back and I am very proud about today's result," commented Women's Head Coach Jean-Pierre Chancy. "I wanted the athletes to play good, but this performance tonight was exceptional."
Along with Pavan, Canada's Melissa Bartlett scored 12 points and Tiffany Dodds (SK) and Marie-Pier Murray-Methot (QC) each added 7.
Canada's men did not share in the ladies success as they were defeated by Puerto Rico 27-29, 18-25, 21-25.
Canada narrowly lost the first set where after holding a 22-19 lead late in the game, Puerto Rico snuck in to steal the win. Puerto Rico used that momentum to jump out to a commanding 18-13 lead over Canada. The Canadians took a run at the Puerto Ricans but with no avail, losing 18-25.
In the final set Canada held their own, but tied at 21-21, Puerto Rico silenced the Canadian fans scoring 4 quick points
Players of the game for Canada were Douglas van Spronsen (AB) with 9 points and Louis-Pierre Mainville (QC) with 8.
USA finished in first place in Pool A and automatically moved to the semifinal phase with a victory over Puerto Rico by score of 25-22, 21-25, 25-12, 25-20.
American Jordan Larson had 21 points, Cynthia Barboza added 14 and Alexis Crimes chipped 11 points. For Puerto Rico, Sarai Alvarez scored 16 points and Yarimar Rosa and Vanessa Velez added 12 and 10 respectively.
The Mexican women went to 2-1 today with their win over Trinidad & Tobago. Scores of the match were 25-22, 25-13, 25-21. For Mexico, Sandra Gonzalez and Martha Revuelta each scored 11 points and Yocelin Cervantes added 9. Trinidad & Tobago had Kelly Anne Billingy and Ayan Dette with 19 and 16 points.
Cuba will meet Puerto Rico and Mexico will face Dominican Republic in the quarterfinals.
In the Menís action, Cuba continued its winning way today, the third day of competition at the Junior Menís NORCECA Championships.The Cubans, who have a 3-0 record, defeated the Mexicans 25-21, 25-11, 25-20.
David de la Torre was the best Cuban scorer with 10 points, Osmany Juantorena added 9 and Yadier Sanchez had 7. For Mexico, Juan Virgen had 10 and Ricardo Leal and Arturo Flores 8 and 7 respectively.
In the last match of Thursday, Puerto Ricoís Men defeated Canada by score of 29-27, 25-18, 25-21. Ivan Perez, Exequiel Cruz and Juan Figueroa had 15, 14 and 13 points respectively for Puerto Rico. Douglas van Spronsen had 9 points for Canada and Louise-Pierre Mainville and Jonathan Marcoux scored 8 and 7 points.
The NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Federation) Championships are the qualifier for the 2005 Junior World Championships. The Canadian teams are joined by 7 other nations (Cuba, USA, Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Puerto Rico).