Canada wins berth to FIVB WCH and will face Puerto Rico for NORCECA title

DURANGO, Mexico, August 22, 2021.- Canada won a berth for the FIVB 2022 World Championship and will face Puerto Rico for the Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship title after beating Mexico 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-18) in semifinals at Durango, Mexico.

Canada are seeking to win their second title in the history of the event, they won in 2015 also here in Mexico, but in Cordoba, while Puerto Rico has never been atop podium finisher.

Mexico had little opportunities to respond from Canada’s sharp execution in a match that lasted a little over an hour (1:17). Canada was strong from start to finish, progressing into the title match with 9-3 margin in blocks and 8-1 effective service points; they also held a 29-27 advantage in attacks and committed fewer errors than Mexico (26-29).

Middle blocker Danny Demyanenko led Canada with 11 points and outside hitter Brandon Koppers followed with 10 points; Mathias Elser topped in aces with 6 points.

Opposite Diego González scored 9 points as Mexico’s leading scorer all in kills, middle blocker Axel Tellez contributed with 7 points and outside hitter Jorge Hernández chipped in with 6 points.

Larry McKay, Coach of Canada: “Our staff did a lot of work to prepare, they were very knowledgeable about Mexico’s stats and they did a very good job. The players deserve a lot of the credit for playing well”.

Brett Walsh, Captain of Canada: “It was a good match for us, everybody that played today made big contributions and we made the right decisions at the right time. Our biggest difference was our service pressure, we just put the ball in their court and made them play a lot more than our previous match against them; our block did a good job as well. A final is always a fun game to play and you never know who’s going to be, we’re going to show up with the same energy as today and give it our best shot and try to win”.

Jorge Azair, Coach of Mexico: “Canada adjusted well, they served really well, and they served like they had never done before, many in zone 5. We had some attacking errors in the first set and lost our confidence; I consider it natural because most of the players are young. We must work, we must earn points in ranking, the possibility of qualifying the World Championship is still there and tomorrow we will battle for bronze”.