Canada, Cuba and USA open with victories at NORCECA Men’s
Langley, Canada, September 24, 2013 – Hosts Canada, defending champions Cuba and United States successfully opened their campaign at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship scoring one-sided victories on Monday.
The championship winner will qualify for the FIVB Grand Champions Cup to be played next November in Japan.
Canada defeated Guatemala, Cuba downed Bahamas while United States beat St Lucia in their first matches in the pool play phase.
“It was an important match for us to win in straight sets and avoid the quarterfinals,” Canada’s Captain Fred Winters said. “I wish Guatemala good luck against Mexico and the rest of the tournament.”
“I am glad but not totally satisfied,” Cuba’s Coach Rodolfo Sanchez stated. “Tomorrow, I hope we play a better match than the one we played today.”
“We’re happy to get the opportunity to compete and we’re happy with the victory,” USA Coach John Speraw said. “We wanted to take care of our side of the net and improve on the aspects of our game that we worked on all summer.”
Canada 3, Guatemala 0
Canada got off to a strong start with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-10) victory over Guatemala. It was a block party for Canada as they blanked their opponents 22-0 in the category with Rudy Verhoeff leading the way with a match-high 8 blocks. Gavin Schmitt led the home side with 12 points while Verhoeff followed with 11. Dallas Soonias and Fred Winters chipped in with nine apiece. Andy Leonardo topped Guatemala with 11 points.
Cuba 3, Bahamas 0
Defending champions Cuba defeated Bahamas 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-7) to begin the Rodolfo Sanchez’s era as coach of the national team. Rolando Cepeda was their best weapon as he finished with 10 points, including 3 aces. Danger Quintana and Inovel Romero each contributed nine points to the winning cause. Prince’Tanique Wilson topped the losers with eight. The winners held a 12-3 advantage in the blocking category, and also dominated in serving aces 5-1.
United States 3, St Lucia 0
Veteran players and newcomers combined to carry the United States St. Lucia, 25-12, 25-10, 25-11. Murphy Troy led all the scorers with 13 points while David Lee and Futi Tavana added 10 and 8 points respectively. Lee had three blocks as USA held a huge 11-2 margin in the blocking category and Micah Christenson registered five aces to lead the 11-1 advantage of the winners from the service line.