Sept. 23, 2023: Although Mexico beat Canada today at the NORCECA Pan American Cup Men’s Final Six in Edmonton, it’s Canada that advances to the gold-medal match based on the team’s overall tournament record.
Canada had to win at least one set in today’s match to qualify for the gold match.
Canada had a slow start but gained confidence in front of their home crowd to force a tie break, but Mexico finished off the host team in the decisive final set – score was 3-2 (25-20, 28-26, 20-25, 23-25, 15-9).
The final will be Canada vs. USA, and Mexico will play Cuba for the bronze medal.
“It was very difficult to do what we had to do tonight because Mexico is a very experienced team,” said Canada’s coach Dan Lewis. “We only had to win one set and we were down, so I’m proud of our guys for handling the stress of that situation.”
Canadian opposite Christopher Byam led scoring for his team with 20 points. Luis Hernández Baca of Mexico scored 19 points for the winning side.
Canada led in attack points (58-56), blocking (12-7) and service aces (7-3), but Canada made significantly more costly errors than Mexico (45-28).
“We knew going into it what was at stake, and we wanted to be in that (gold) medal game,” said Byam. “We knew we needed at least one set, but our goal wasn’t to stop there. I think we did a good job of responding to the stress of being down two sets and just playing volleyball. Ultimately, it’s getting back to the basics that are going to move you forward and I think we did a good job at that.”
The gold-medal match will be held at 4:30 pm MT. The bronze at 2 pm.
The participating teams are Canada, USA, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. All matches are at the Flair Airlines Hangar (Hall D) in The Edmonton Expo Centre.
Team Canada (Final 6)
Christopher Byam, Bow Island, AB
Jonah Dueck, Rosenort, MB
Reeve Gingera, Calgary, AB
Mason Greves, Calgary, AB
Isaac Heslinga, Orangeville, ON
Zachary Hollands, Victoriaville, QC
Liam Kristjanson, Oak River, MB
Isaiah Mamer, Wilkie, SK
Darian Picklyk, Winnipeg, MB
Jonathan Portelance, Sherbrooke, QC
Jacob Sargent, Lethbridge, AB
Kaden Schmidt, Mississauga, ON
Cory Schoenherr, Waterloo, ON
James Vincett, Calgary, AB
Dan Lewis, Head Coach
Georges Laplante, Assistant Coach
Yung Yung Wong, Sport Physiotherapist
Canada’s matches: www.cbcsports.ca
All matches: Volleyball Canada’s YouTube Channel
Volleyball Canada Media Contact:
Photo: NORCECA (Paul Swanson)
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