CUBA — Team Canada is off to a great start at the U21 Pan Am Cup, going 2-0 after two days of competition. Bisons Jonah Dueck and Sammy Ludwig both made the traveling roster and played important roles, while Arnd ‘Lupo’ Ludwig is head coach and has Mike Stephens as one of his assistants.
Yesterday, Canada battled the heat, overcoming a 2-1 deficit to top Puerto Rico 3-2 (26-28, 27-25, 22-25, 25-19, 19-17) in a match that saw the floor wiped down consistently due to the heat. Overall, the game spanned 3.5 hours, with Dueck earning the start and providing stability in the middle. He led the team with four kill blocks, while a high block “helped our defence to move better,” noted Ludwig to local reporters.
Outside hitter Jacob Sargent from the Alberta Golden Bears was the leading scorer, with 27 points, including two blocks and three aces.
“It was a really good match to start off the tournament, hard because of the close scores, mostly the first sets. Puerto Rico moved forward, we got worried, and they took control again, but in the end, I believe we won because we played as a team,” Ludwig added.
Canada followed up their marathon win with a 3-0 sweep of Haiti today (25-19, 25-17, 25-20).
Sammy Ludwig played in sets two and three, leading the team with two kill blocks. He and Dueck also paced the team at the service line, with a combined five aces.
Canada is back in action tomorrow, rounding out preliminary action against the Dominican Republic.
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