Cuba will play for ninth place in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship, following a 3-0 (25-19, 28-26, 25-19) victory over Canada on Friday.

Canada will play Poland, who lost to Czech Republic today in five sets, in the match for 11th and 12th places on Saturday.

“Cuba is a very tough team,” said Canada’s coach Joao Paulo Bravo (at “We’ve played against them in NORCECA (our confederation) and we have never beaten them. So we knew what kind of team we were playing against. There is disappointment on the loss, but I am proud of the guys because they tried their best and they followed well the game plan.”

Xander Ketrzynski (Canada) and Jose Carlos Romero Gonzalez (Cuba) were top scorers in today’s match with 16 apiece.

Canada captain Mathias Elser said: “It would have been nice to come out with a win. We executed our game plan very well and the guys played hard, but that’s just a good team on the other side. They came out strong and overpowered us today.

“In every match we play against teams like them we can learn a lot, especially from the losses. We have to go back and watch some video and see what we can improve on and come out stronger tomorrow.”

Pool G (second round)
July 24: Egypt def. Canada 3-1 (26-24, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23)
July 23: Canada def. Czech Republic 3-2 (25-19, 20-25, 28-26, 15-25, 17-15)
July 22: Canada def. Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-19, 25-14, 19-25, 25-17)

Pool D (preliminary round) results: 
July 20: Poland def. Canada 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-18, 26-24)
July 19: Brazil def. Canada 3-0 (25-25, 25-19, 25-13)
July 18: Italy def. Canada 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-15)

U21 travelling roster:
Jackson Bere, Toronto, ON
Jordan Canham, Newington, ON
Jesse Elser, Calgary, AB
Mathias Elser, Calgary, AB (captain)
Colm Guyn, Lethbridge, AB
Brodie Hofer, Langley, BC
Xander Ketrzynski, Toronto, ON
Coltyn Liu, Vancouver, BC
Justin Lui, Pickering, ON
Fynnian McCarthy, Lake Country, BC
Matthew Neaves, Calgary, AB
Alexis Tournier, Gatineau, QC

Head coach: Joao Paulo Bravo
Asst. Coach: Adam Simac
Asst. Coach: Shayne White
Statistician: Daniel Cuzmar-Grimalt
Athletic Therapist: Seadon Pereira
Team Manager: Melanie Desrochers

Photo: FIVB