Canada’s men’s and women’s teams opened the NORCECA Champions Cup in Colorado with exciting matchups, but weren’t able to secure wins on Thursday at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center.

Cuba pulled off the five-set win 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-11) over Canada’s B squad.  The Cuban team, with returning star middle Robertlandy Simon scoring 10 points on eight attacks and two blocks, stayed composed despite Canada’s pressure.

Canada led Cuba in attacks (54-51) and blocks (13-7). But Cuba led in aces (9-2), and also scored 39 points off Canada’s errors while committing 28.

Canada’s Blake Scheerhoorn led all scorers with 17 points on 15 attacks and two blocks. Cuba’s Marlon Yang led his team with 15 points on 12 attacks and three aces.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” said Canada’s head coach Ryan Marsden. “Our guys battled as hard as they could. When it looked like we were down and out in game four, they came from nowhere. Our biggest Achilles heel today was just missing serves. Our biggest strength was our block defense. When we miss our serve, we’re not able to show that on a consistent basis. I’m really proud of our guys.”

Later Thursday, the U.S. women beat Canada 3-1 (18-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-20).
The U.S. Women led Canada in attacks (51-42), blocks (11-10) and ace (6-4).
Kiera Van Ryk led Canada with 16 points on 15 attacks and one block. Shainah Joseph added 13.

“I don’t think it was our strongest game,” said Canada’s coach Shannon Winzer. “I thought our passing broke down, and that obviously affects your offense. We struggled to score. USA rallied from that and they got some momentum and it was tough for us to then catch back up. We had real glimpses of good volleyball, but it just wasn’t enough today.”

Men: Canada vs Puerto Rico – 1 pm MT
Women: Canada vs Dominican Republic – 3 pm MT

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