Men: Canada sweeps Mexico in qualifier opener Friday night

The NORCECA Men’s Tokyo Qualification Tournament kicked off at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, today with Canada beating Mexico, and Cuba defeating Puerto Rico.

Canada downed Mexico 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-17). Stephen Maar of Aurora, Ontario, led Canada in scoring with 11 points.

“This was the first game we’ve played together since last summer so we were a little tentative and a little rusty at the start, but we settled down and we started flowing,” said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag.

“We were able to get our nerves out and play a solid game and prepare for the rest of the tournament,” said Canada’s team captain Gord Perrin (Creston, BC), who contributed nine points to Canada’s effort. “Everybody’s going to be important and we want everybody to be at their best so that they can be available if we need them.”

Canada plays Cuba on Saturday – the Cubans beat Puerto Rico in tonight’s second match 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-19).

“They’re a good team, very physical and very powerful.” Hoag said of playing Cuba. “They rely on that. We’re going to have to be patient. One key is how well we’re going to serve.”

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Women: Canada falls to Puerto Rico in NORCECA Women’s Tokyo Qualification Tournament opener

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, January 10, 2020 – Kiera Van Ryk (Surrey, BC) led the way for Canada with 19 points as Team Canada fell in a five-set thriller to Puerto Rico 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 25-23,15-12) in the opening match of the NORCECA Women’s Tokyo Qualification Tournament.

“We had a lot of ups and downs during the match,” said Van Ryk. “Our biggest problem was we couldn’t establish the blocking. At this level you need to block to win.”

After Van Ryk, Alexa Gray (Calgary, AB) with 16, while Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, ON) and Emily Maglio (Coquitlam, BC) added 14 and 12, respectively.

Canada will look to bounce back against host Dominican Republic on Saturday, January 11.