Canada started off strong in front of a home crowd, but lost momentum after the first set to fall to Cuba 1-3 (25-17, 22-25, 22-25,19-25) in the first semifinal of the Men’s 2019 NORCECA Continental Championship today in Winnipeg.
Canada led in blocking (12-10), but Cuba led in service points (9-7) and attacks (50-43).
Miguel Lopez led all scorers with 21 points for the winning team. Lopez was followed by teammates Marlon Yant (15) and Osniel Mergarejo (13).
For Canada, Stephen Maar contributed 17 points. Nick Hoag and Sharone Vernon-Evans had 11 apiece.
Canada will face the loser of the other semi, Mexico, in the bronze medal match on Saturday, while Cuba will face the USA for gold.
Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag:
“We played a great first set, in all aspects, especially in our serving. In the second set, we completely lost momentum because we committed too many service errors early in the set, and Cuba started playing better. … We haven’t played Cuba in a long time, so it was good to see what they can do. We have to be ready for January. …It’s just a question of working on a few things, especially our serving flaws versus our block defense, and I think we will be ready. But for now, we will worry about tomorrow.”
Cuba’s head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez:
“I am happy because of this victory. Our team had a very high-level performance today, especially in our serving, we had very strong service today. Congratulations to Canada, they are a good team. Now we want to be prepared for tomorrow.”
#2 Gordon Perrin, Creston, BC (captain)
#3 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
#4 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#7 Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
#9 Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB
#10 Sharone Vernon-Evans, Scarborough, ON
#11 Daniel Jansen Vandoorn, Langley, BC
#12 Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
#13 Byron Keturakis, Surrey, BC
#16 Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
#17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
#19 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#20 Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON
#21 Brett Walsh, Calgary, AB
Glenn Hoag, Head coach
Dan Lewis, Assistant coach
Gino Brousseau, Assistant coach
Lionel Bonnaure, Statistician
Tracy Blake, Athletic therapist
Julien Boucher, Team manager