Canada wins in front of enthusiastic home crowd at women’s challenger

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Canada impressed its home fans today with a 3-0 win over Mexico at the Sportplex in Chateauguay, Quebec, in the Women’s Challenge Cup tournament. The scores were decisive at 25-14, 25-16, 25-17.

Canadian Alexa Gray stood out as top scorer with 13 points; followed by teammate Autumn Bailey with 11. Mexico’s opposite Maria Fernanda Rodriguez earned 10 points for her side.

It was the first match for Canada’s new head coach, Tom Black. He said after the win: “It was a good way to begin the tournament, I saw a lot of what we were doing in training, and overall it’s a good start – I think it will be a lot better tomorrow though. We know it’s going to be a nice battle.  We have a good plan in place and we have got to just keep upgrading the plays that we know we are capable of making.  I saw lots of good and we just need lots more of it tomorrow.”

Canada plays Puerto Rico tomorrow, a team that also beat Mexico in the tournament opener.

Athlete quotes:
Canada’s team captain Megan Cyr: “I just think there was so much build-up and excitement for this match – we’ve been working really, really hard in the gym adjusting to a new system, new staff and team. We were pumped to get to see it on the court and compete against another team instead of just ourselves. What an opportunity to play your first tournament of the year in Quebec, in Canada, we’ve never played here, so that was super cool and the fans were fantastic! Tomorrow (against Puerto Rico) is another opportunity to learn, to grow and to showcase what we’ve been working hard at every day.”

Mexico’s team captain Sashiko Sanay of Mexico said: “I think we improved from yesterday; we tried to apply as a team what the coach said. We didn’t finish with a good score – we wanted to do more here, but in the end we couldn’t do it. I think for most of us, we were not properly prepared for this tournament as much as Canada is. Most of us are not playing in as high a level at the Canadian players. We hope to improve more for the next tournament we have ahead of us, which is the Pan American Cup in Peru and the Olympic qualifier.”