A golden finish to the season for Canada’s men’s volleyball team
CORDOBA, Mexico, October 10, 2015 – Canada won gold at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship after beating Cuba 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 25-17) Saturday night.
Photo by NORCECA
“I’m really happy with the win. This was our 37th match of the season, so it’s the longest summer I’ve had as a coach (of the national team) … and we are missing a couple of key players, but the team really rallied and worked hard for every point. It was fun to see this,” said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag. “Cuba for us is always a great opponent – they play well and are a very athletic, younger team. They are growing each time we play them; it’s great competition and good volleyball. We’re very happy, this caps the season for us.”
Gord Perrin finished the match as top scorer for the Canadian team, after registering a total of 18 points. He was followed by Nicholas Hoag, who finished with 15 and Justin Duff, who scored 12.
For Cuba, Osmany Santiago Uriarte scored 12 points, and Javier Ernesto Jimenez Scull and Rolando Cepeda contributed 10 each.
The teams were tied in blocks (10-10), while Canada dominated service 6-2, with three aces by Nick Hoag.
“I think we fought hard… we slipped up in the second set when we went down 8-2, but other than that we were very stable,” said Canada’s team captain, Fred Winters. “It was a good win for us. Now we head to our professional teams with a good feeling.”
Nicholas Hoag of Canada was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, as well as best server.
“It feels amazing, I owe it everything to my team. I think they did a tremendous job helping me at change position in the middle of the tournament (to right side). So it was really hard for me. … I think my team is the MVP of this tournament. I’m glad we won it all together,” said Hoag.
The best “first outside hitter” was awarded to Gord Perrin while Daniel Jansen Vandoorn was the “second best middle blocker.”
Importantly, the top four teams in this event have earned the right to compete at the Olympic qualifier, to be held in early 2016.
Also yesterday, Puerto Rico won the bronze medal after beating Mexico in three sets: 25-23, 25-21 and 25-19.
Canada recently returned from the World Cup in Japan, where the top two teams (U.S. and Italy) earned Olympic berths. Canada finished seventh in Japan.
Participating teams in Mexico were attempting to qualify for Rio from North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation regional event, with the exception of the U.S. (already qualified).
#1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2 Gordon Perrin, Creston, BC
#3 Dan Lewis, Oakville, ON
#5 Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary, AB
#6 Justin Duff, Winnipeg, MB
#8 Adam Simac, Ottawa, ON
#9 Dustin Schneider, Brandon, MB
#10 Toon Van Lankvelt, Rivers, MB
#11 Daniel Jansen Vandoorn, Langley, BC
#14 Max Burt, Gander, NL
#15 Fred Winters, Victoria, BC
#18 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#19 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#22 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
Glenn Hoag, head coach,
Vincent Pichette, assistant coach
Larry McKay, assistant coach
Julien Boucher, team manager
Jean-Sebastien Hartell, athletic therapist
Murat Haktanir, statistician