Canada drops Pan American Cup opener

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Volleyball-Canada

TIJUANA, Mexico – Venezuela defeated Canada 3-1 (25-20, 25-17,21-25, 30-28) in the opening match of the IX Men’s Pan American Cup volleyball tournament at the Baja California High Performance Center.

Venezuela surprised the Canadians with a good defensive blocking strategy that allowed them to dominate the opening two sets. Kervin Pinerua scored 28 points for Venezuela, followed by Freddy Cedeno with 15, while Jesus Chourio finished with 12.

On the Canadian side, Jason De Rocco of Winnipeg and Dallas Soonias of Red Deeer, Alta., scored 17 apiece.

Canada’s head coach, Georges Laplante said there were some indiscipline mistakes by his players.

“We had lack of communication but we expect to improve things in our next match,’’ Laplante said. ‘’We have two groups one in Argentina and the other one here, as we prepare to get the team ready for World Championships.’’

Canada squandered three set points in the fourth. “We tried to do our best after third set, but due to indiscipline and mistakes we couldn’t make it,’’ said Toon Van Lankvelt of River, Man. ‘’We expect to improve for second match.”

The Canadians are in Group C with Venezuela and Argentina. Canada faces Argentina on Wednesday. The top-two in each of the three pools advance to the playoff round. The quarterfinals are on Thursday, semis on Friday and the medal matches on Saturday.

Canada did not compete at the Pan Am Cup in 2013 and was sixth in 2012.

Canadian roster for the Pan Am Cup August 11-16 in Tijuana, Mexico.

Jay Blankenau, Calgary

Setter

Josh Howatson, Victoria

Setter

Graham Vigrass, Calgary

Middle

Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary

Middle

Max Burt, Gander, N.L.

Middle

Steve Marshall, Abbotsford, B.C.

Leftside

Jason Derocco, Winnipeg

Leftside

Toon Van Lankvelt, River, Man.

Leftside

Nick Del Bianco, Surrey, B.C.

Leftside

Blair Bann, Edmonton

Libero

Dallas Soonias, Red Deer, Alta.

Opposite

Brad Gunter, Courtenay, B.C.

Opposite

Team Staff travelling will be

Georges Laplante – Head Coach

Nathan Groenveld – Asst Coach

Ryan Ratushniak – Asst Coach

Joanie Beauregard-Veillette – Team Manager

Luc Campbell – Therapist

Mélanie Desrochers – Statistician

Matches are webcast at: www.indebc.gob.mx

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