Canada Sixth at Women’s Pan Am Cup
Canada wrapped up competition on Sunday at the 2016 NORCECA Women’s Pan American Cup with a loss to Argentina to finish the tournament in sixth place in the 12-team tournament in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Despite dropping Sunday’s match 3-0 to Argentina (21-25, 23-25, 23-25), Canada qualified for next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix, with their opposition to be determined at a later date.
Ottawa’s Shainah Joseph led the way for Canada in the Sunday game with 11 points while Danielle Brisebois and Marie-Alex Belanger each had seven points.
After losing to Cuba, who finished the tournament in fourth place, in the quarterfinals, Canada earned a chance to finish in fifth by taking on Venezuela in the first classification game on Saturday.
Once again, it was Joseph fronting the Canadian attack with 15 points, including four blocks, as Canada took care of Venezuela 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-22). Team captain Lucille Charuk contributed 11 points, including three aces.
“Our team came out well focused and I told the players to not take the opponents easy,” head coach Arnd Ludwig told the tournament’s website. “Somehow we lost a big lead 15-5 in the first set, and I am glad we won that one. Then we were able to control the rest of the way.”
The Dominican Republic won the tournament for the fourth time by beating Puerto Rico. The United States beat Cuba for the bronze medal.
“The Pan Am Cup is a very tough tournament with eight matches in nine days. It is a tournament where you need the whole roster, and we had to deal with two injuries (starting setter Megan Cyr and Alina Dormann, who rolled her ankle in the Mexico match),” said Ludwig.
“Our five-set loss (16-14 in fifth) to Cuba in the quarterfinal was very bitter. We had chances to win sets against Puerto Rico and Dominican. Unfortunately, we played our worst game in the last match against Argentina. “
Canada will be back in World Grand Prix action for the fourth year in a row next year where they’ve finished with a high of 18th place in 2015 and a 19th-place finish in 2014 and 2016 in playing out of Group 2 in the 28-team competition.
The result at this year’s Pan Am Cup is one step down from Canada’s fifth-place performance in Peru at this event last year but higher than their eighth place performance from the 2015 Pan American Games, which were held in Toronto.