Canada moves into semifinals with a Five-set win over USA

DURANGO, Mexico, August 21, 2021.- Canada advanced into semifinals with a five-set win 3-2(22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 15-10) over United States at the Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship in Durango, Mexico.

Canada will play in Sunday’s semifinals and United States will play classification matches for positions 5-8.

Canada overpowered United States with comfortable margins 54-43 in attacks, 17-9 in blocks and 9-3 in aces, but they handed out 42 points on unforced errors; the U.S. allowed 29 points on errors.

Opposite Xander Ketrzynski scored a match-high of 25 points, on 17 kills, 4 blocks and 4 aces lifting Canada to recover from dropping the first set; outside hitter Brandon Koppers contributed with 19 points on 16 kills and 3 blocks and Mathias Elser added 10 points on 8 kills and 2 aces.

On the U.S. side, middle blocker Jake Hanes scored 15 points, on 12 kills, 2 blocks and one ace, joined by outside hitter Spencer Olivier with 14 points on 10 attacks and 4 blocks.

Brett Walsh, Captain of Canada: “We fought really hard and did whatever it took to win tonight; we came on the court and did everything we could to win. We had different players stepping up at different times, some playing in different positions that they usually do. We have to come out with the same energy and focus in the semifinal match”.

Larry McKay, Coach of Canada: “Our players made good plays, they performed well tonight. Our team had a good match with their skills and got rewarded for it. We have to improve everything for our next match”.

Joshua Tuaniga, Captain of United States: “I think we lacked consistency with our volleyball, there were a lot of times during the match we played really good volleyball and then there were some dips. Canada played a really good game of volleyball and that’s just what it came down to. We have a lot of young guys who are hungry to play the game and I’m excited for the future of USA”.

Andy Read, Coach of United States: “Canada played really strong and a few points better than us. I liked how our guys were down (1-2), fought to get the fourth set, hands off to them. In the fifth set, Canada did a couple of serves to get some separation and we couldn’t catch up”.