Canada Holds Back Mexico to Reach NORCECA Title Match


Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA (Aug. 31, 2012) – Canada advanced to the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship gold-medal match with a 25-17, 25-18, 24-26, 25-21 victory over Mexico on Friday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Canada will face the second semifinal winner of United States and Puerto Rico on Saturday at 17:30, while Mexico will challenge the loser for the bronze medal. The top three finishing teams in the tournament advance to the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Junior Continental Championship.


Canada had balanced scoring with nine of its available 11 players scoring at least one point and five players in double digits. Dany Demyanenko led Canada with 18 points, while Alexander William Russell added 12 points in the victory. Jarrid Michael Ireland and Brook Alois Sedore scored 11 points and Ryley Brendan Barnes tacked on 10 points.


Sergio Perez led Mexico with 19 points, followed by Jesus Alberto Perales’ 18 points.


Canada’s block provided a 13-5 scoring edge over Mexico, in addition to a 60-54 edge in kills. Canada was credited with a 37-30 advantage in digs led by Tyler Koslowsky’s 14.


Canada’s block was dominant throughout the opening set with five in the 25-17 victory. Canada also held its errors to three in the set and used seven Mexico errors to its advantage. Canada used consecutive aces by Milan Nikic to reach a 16-11 lead at the second technical timeout of the second set and forged ahead to a 25-18 victory. Canada opened the third set leading 3-0, but Mexico came back to square the set at 8-all. The set stayed close the rest of the way as Mexico tied the set up at 23-all after trailing by two most of the way. Mexico saved one match point and took the set 26-24 on a Canada error. Mexico came back from an 8-5 deficit in the fourth set to take a 14-12 advantage. Back-to-back Canada blocks put it back in front 17-16 and went up 21-18. Canada finished set at 25-21 with the final four of five points.


“First of all Mexico is a fantastic team, even though the first two sets did not go their way,” Canada head coach David Preston said. “They fought back. We were in a position to close out the third set with opportunities to win and couldn’t come away with the win. However, we put ourselves in the same position in the fourth set and won. I like how we are when we are system, but when out of system we have something to work on. We have one more practice session to get better and have a chance to win a continental championship.”


“First hats off to Mexico – we knew it would be a battle as they are a high-energy team,” Canada captain Milan Nikic said. “We started the first two sets running the game plan, but Mexico stepped up its game in the third set. We know we have some things to work on for tomorrow.”


“In the first set we did not come out and give all we had and made too many errors on defense and blocking,” Mexico head coach Justo Arias said. “In the beginning we knew Canada would be a good match. As the game progressed, we played a little better. It came to be where both teams were evenly matched and we won the third set. But we could not keep the momentum up and win. Canada is a great team with a collective game and I congratulate them. Tomorrow will not be easy and will be evenly matched. Both teams will be looking for a spot at the World Championships for next year. So we want to start at 100 percent and keep the momentum.”


“First we want to congratulate Canada for being a good team,” Mexico captain Jonathan Ponce said “We started off slow, but little by little we gained momentum. In the third set, it was decided we wanted to win it. But in the end, Canada won the match. Tomorrow we hope to give our best to win third.