May 17, 2014, Mississauga, ON (ISN) – Today in NORCECA’s third-round of Men’s World Championship Qualification (Pool Q) action, home-crowd favourites Canada beat Trinidad in three sets 25-13, 25-11, 25-21.

The Canadian men join Costa Rica as the undefeated men’s teams in round-robin play.

In his first official game as a starter, Jason DeRocco of East St. Paul, Manitoba, delivered 17 points as the lead scorer for Canada. “It was a good game, and it’s great to have all these fans out,” said DeRocco.  “It’s a different level and style of game than what we are used to, but we came out and played strong , even though we had a little bit of a lapse in the third set.”

Opposite Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alberta, added 15 points for Canada.

“Like last night, we were a little bit tentative in the first set, but we came around after that,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag.  “Blocking went well, but we still need to work on our offense quite a bit. Overall we’re on track for the tournament. “ 

Trinidad knew the odds were against them in this game. Trinidad’s Nolan Tash, Team Captain, who contributed five points to his team’s effort, said:  “We knew it was always going to be an uphill battle, but we didn’t count ourselves out because the game is won and lost on the court of play.”

Costa Rica got the better of Panama in four sets in the other men’s Pool Q game today.

The final score was 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-23, with a standout performance by Costa Rica’s captain Richard Smith Hall with 24 points. Costa Rica beat Trinidad in a five-set nail-biter yesterday bringing the team’s record to 2-0.
“Today was another hard game, we have played Panama in many finals, we know them and I think they played very well,” said Smith Hall.

“I think we did something wrong in the third set, so we were not comfortable with our game, and they started to play very well. They did what they had to do, and we were missing what we had to do, so we lost that third set.  In the end, it worked out.”

On the women’s side of the NORCECA third round World Championship Qualifications, in Pool S, action heated up tonight as Canada faced Mexico.

In an exciting match, Mexico warmed up and posed a challenge to win the third set, but Canada regrouped for the match in four 16-25, 20-25, 25-20, 16-25.

“We started in the second set to let it get go a bit, and we made too many errors.  Maybe we thought it was too easy,” said Canada’s head coach Arnd Ludwig. “I’m glad we came back in the fourth set.  I am looking forward to the final, I think it might have been good to lose a set as we must learn that we have to be focused all the time.  Mexico is a tough team – they always fight and always play hard. That’s what we learned today.” 

It was a big game for Manitoban Tabi Love with 22 points, followed by captain Brittney Page with 15.

“We knew we had it in us to do this and be the top team, so we wanted to re-focus after the third and it worked out for us in the end,” said Page of Vernon, BC.

The opening match of the day for the women featured Jamaica vs the United States Virgin Islands.  Both currently 46th in FIVB World Rankings, Jamaica came out looking organized today, winning in straight sets 25-22, 25-14, 25-19.
“Our rhythm was there today. Yesterday against Canada, it was the first match we’ve played together as a group. There was much better communication today,” explained Simone Asque, top scorer, with 17 points, from Jamaica.

They face Mexico tomorrow.
Round-robin play continues tomorrow, with medal matches taking place on Monday at 2, 4, 6 and 8 pm Eastern time at the Hershey Centre.
All games are live-streamed at: