Canadian men's team out to win NORCECA Pool Q
Mississauga, Canada, May 14, 2014 - The FIVB Men’s World Championship Qualification Tournament NORCECA Pool Q will be contested from May 16-19 with hosts Canada joined by the national teams of Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Panama.
The competition will take place at the Hershey Centre in the Greater Toronto area, which has a capacity of 5,500 seats.
Home team Canada received an automatic ticket to the third round of the qualification process, based on their ranking. The Canadians are currently eleventh in FIVB world rankings and third in NORCECA, behind the USA and Cuba.
Teams will be vying to win a place at the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, to be held in several cities in Poland from August 20 to September 21. The team ranked second here will join three other teams from the NORCECA qualification process in a final playoff from July 14-20. This playoff will decide NORCECA’s fifth and final berth in the world championship.
The Canadians made giant strides in 2013 climbing from 18th to 11th in the world rankings, thanks to a fifth place finish in the World League tournament. They are favourites to win this weekend’s event.
Canada are led by high-scoring attacker Gavin Schmitt, Gord Perrin and Dallas Soonias, who ranked in the top-five spikers last season in the World League. They are joined by top-ten blockers Adam Simac and Fred Winters.
Canada's men’s teams have earned medals in 17 of the 23 editions of the NORCECA Continental Championship since the biennial competition began in 1969. This record includes a second place in Langley in 2013, when they lost the title match to the Americans in three sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-14).
In a competition historically dominated by Cuba (15 crowns) and the United States (8), the Canadians have finished second five times and have picked up 12 bronzes.
At the annual men’s Pan American Cup, Canada have finished on the podium four times in 8 events, including two silver medals.
“It is important that our men’s team qualify in Mississauga, so this makes it very exciting for our coaches and athletes,” said Julien Boucher, Volleyball Canada’s High Performance Director. “We are looking forward to making our home-country fans proud!”
The athletic men of Trinidad and Tobago were also granted a free pass to the third round due to their continental ranking in 2012 when the first phase of the qualifiers took place.
The Trinidadians are currently ranked eighth in NORCECA and 62nd in FIVB, level with Costa Rica, who are ranked 13th at the confederation level.
The Costa Ricans reached the third round thanks to a 25-22, 25-22, 19-25, 25-15 victory away to Aruba, which made up for a painful defeat suffered at home one year earlier to the hands of Guatemala, in a five-set battle 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 18-25, 15-13).
Panama (eleventh in NORCECA, 42nd in the world) arrived here via two second places. The Panamanians lost to Honduras 3-0 (28-26, 25-21, 25-20) in the final match of Pool G in 2012 and last year were downed by the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-10, 25-6, 25-14) to determine the winner of Pool K.
16:00 Trinidad and Tobago v Costa Rica
20:00 Canada v Panama
16:00 Costa Rica v Panama
18:00 Canada v Trinidad and Tobago
14:00 Panama v Trinidad and Tobago
20:00 Canada v Costa Rica
14:00 Third Place v Fourth Place
18:00 First Place v Second Place
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