vollyball men panam


Volleyball Canada – Jackie Skender

TORONTO, Canada, July 26, 2015 – In front of almost 5000 partisan fans at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, Canada’s men’s volleyball team defeated Puerto Rico today in the 2015 Pan American Games bronze-medal match 3-1 (25-11, 25-12, 23-25, 25-18).

“It was a good result for us. It’s not often we win a medal in men’s volleyball, so it’s important for our program,” said team captain, Fred Winters of Victoria, BC. “The match was up and down. It started really well, part of the reason we played so well is because Puerto Rico played so poorly in the first two sets. They played better in the third and the fourth, but we kept our composure, which was nice to see. I thought it would be tough coming out in the start, being disappointed not playing in the gold medal game, but we had a really good start. The most important thing was to win bronze.”

Powerhouse Gavin Schmitt (Saskatoon, SK) topped all players in scoring with 25 points; followed by Gord Perrin (14) and Rudy Verhoeff (13), also for Canada. Ezequiel Cruz and Hector Soto contributed 11 points each for Puerto Rico.

“The supporters have been great every single game, I think only one game wasn’t sold out for us and it’s nice to see. The supporters in Toronto did a really good job,” said Winters.

Canada had won its pool with three straight victories, but fell to Argentina (1-3) in a tough battle in the semi-finals. (Argentina and Brazil are currently playing for this afternoon).

“It was good that it was a morning game, so we didn’t have to think about it all day. It’s been huge all week, sometimes I think the home crowd can make you tight because you have more expectations of yourself, but to have them cheering for us all the way through was great,” said Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Manitoba. “Rio has been our goal all along…. Now we have a couple weeks off – we’ve been going for about three months straight – and then we get back together and we have World Cup in Japan in September, which is our first chance to qualify for the Olympics.”