Canada remained undefeated with a 3-0 win over Nicaragua (25-13, 25-10, 25-8) at the NORCECA Senior Women’s Continental Championship and World Championship Qualification Tournament (Group B) on Friday night.

The win puts Canada in the top two teams, with Cuba, to advance to the 2018 World Championships, which will be held in Japan.  The teams face off tonight for number one spot in this group.

Against Nicaragua, Canada’s Marie-Alex Bélanger was top scorer with 17, including five aces, followed by teammate Alexa Gray with 16 points.  Amalia Hernandez was Nicaragua’s top scorer with six points.

Marcello Abbondanza, head coach of Canada, said after the match: “Tonight was very important because we took the qualification and we played good volleyball. Now the big challenge is against Cuba – we are already both qualified, but I think it is important for us to show how we have progressed and to demonstrate some good volleyball to the Canadian fans.”

Nicaragua will play St. Lucia tomorrow for third and fourth places in this tournament.

Canada plays Cuba at 8 pm Pacific time on Sept. 30

At the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the men’s team plays the US team today at 7 pm mountain time (9 pm Eastern, 6 pm Pacific).

Canada has defeated the United States the last two times they have played this year, including the World League finals bronze match, where Canada reached the podium. Both the U.S. and Canada are undefeated going into today’s semi.