MORELIA, Mexico, September 30, 2015.- Canada beat Mexico 3-2
(22-25, 25-15, 25-17, 21-25, 15-8) to grab the last spot
available for the NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualification
Tournament to be held in January.
In front of more than 3,000 spectators at Bicentenario
Auditorium, Canada fought hard for the dramatic five set win
that puts them in the semifinals of the NORCECA Women’s
Continental Championship against Dominican Republic.
Mexico jumped to an early lead 11-9 with powerful kills, while
Canada remained calm and started to counterattack with their
tall blockers. Canada never gave up and Mexico’s fans always
supported the home team; it took Mexico two set points to finish
on top 25-22. Canada took the lead in set two 7-5 as Mexico
engaged in receiving errors.
Canada continued strong in blocking and attacking well. Mexico
forced longer rallies while performing well in defense while
Canada kept a comfortable lead 14-7, it seemed like Mexico ran
out of energy. Canada won set two 25-15. Canada’s blocking was
difficult to overcome; Mexico struggled to catch up while Canada
led 12-8 in the third set and overpowered in kills to finish
Mexico´s inspiration returned while spiking aggressively
and defending better to lead 13-8 in the fourth set. Canada’s
errors kept Mexico’s advantage up to the end 25-21. Canada took
control of the actions for a five point lead and sealed their
way into semis 15-8.
With a 16-3 margin in blocking, Canada dominated Mexico’s
advantage in kills 54-48. Canada scored on 40 Mexican errors.
Canada’s top scorer was Outside Hitter Dana Cranston with 16
points, joined by Outside Hitter Kyla Richey and Middle Blocker
Jaimie Thilbeault with 15 points apiece. Mexican Outside Hitter
Andrea Rangel led all scorers with 23 points, followed by
Opposite Dulce Carranza with 18 points and Outside Hitter
Lizbeth Sainz with 10 points.
Captain Brittney Page of Canada said “Mexico played outstanding,
they never gave up and defended very well, this is the best
Mexico team I’ve seen in years. We focused on powering hard on
our spikes to score and our passing worked out well”.
Coach Arne Ludwig of Canada said “players always want to perform
in front of a loud crowd; it’s wonderful to see the spectators
supporting their team. In the beginning the players tried to
avoid errors and the match was really close, when our blocking
performed better up to the half of the second set, the balance
went more in our favor. Our opposite, Pavan performed very well.
Our goal was to be in the Pre-Olympic tournament”.
“We are not happy, it’s hurtful” said Dulce Carranza. “We proved
that we are a competitive team despite the lack of international
experience like other teams’ here. The fans at Morelia were
great and we are thankful for their support. This motivates us
to practice harder because we have definitely improved”.
Coach Jorge Azair said “we are really grateful for Michoacan’s
involvement in every one of our matches. I am very proud of my
team, we were really close in reaching our objective, their hard
work shows but we are facing teams with better height than us
and it’s difficult to execute well; we must work and work. The
girls know what they are capable of and I encourage them to
continue with this project”.