Men’s team wins; as beach heats up

Pan Am Volleyball Update:  Men’s team puts best foot forward; beach heats up and women’s indoor resumes!
TORONTO, July 18, 2015 :  Canada’s men’s national team made its debut at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games last night to a packed venue at Exhibition Place. The team didn’t disappoint, as Canada blanked Mexico 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-18).

“I’m pretty sure the guys we’re a little bit nervous at the start but as soon as we got a couple points under our belt we could do nothing but take strength from the crowd getting excited about what we were doing,” said Ottawa’s Adam Simac, who scored the match point last night. One of the final rallies included a spectacular effort by Steven Marshall (Abbotsford, BC), who kicked the ball back into play, followed by a huge team effort to close the match.“I actually didn’t think he (Steve) got the ball up at first, but when I heard the crowd go nuts, that was a good indicator that the ball didn’t hit the floor. Amazing play, I’ve never seen anything like it before and I’m sure we’re going to be seeing it on the internet again.”  Watch the highlight.Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon contributed 13 points, followed by Gord Perrin of Creston, BC, with 12.  Canada plays Puerto Rico next at 3:30 pm on Sunday, July 19.

“Mexico is getting better and better every time we play them. They dug a lot of balls, they keep balls alive so we have to hit, hit, hit. We can do a lot of things better,” said Schmitt. “Every other team moving forward will be difficult as well, and we have some things to polish and get perfect before we play the next game.”On the beach side, both Canadian pairs are in quarter finals today. Playing in a temporary beach volleyball stadium in the middle of Toronto’s Exhibition grounds, Canada’s men and women have a combined 6-0 record, and have wowed the crowds in one of the most electric atmospheres of the Games.

Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter, both of Richmond Hill, Ont., are currently ranked seventh on the FIVB World Tour, and play at 3:30 Eastern this afternoon, against Rodolfo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen of Mexico, ranked 19th. Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Taylor Pischke (Winnipeg, MB) go at 8 pm against Costa Rica.

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