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Canada wins gold at the Women’s Continental Championship in Langley

Langley, British Columbia, CANADA. September 30, 2017: Canada’s women’s team both won gold and qualified for the 2018 World Championships this weekend at the NORCECA Senior Women’s Continental Championship and World Championship Qualification Tournament (Group B).

The score ended at 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-23).

Canada started off tentative very early on in today’s final, but then gained strength after the first technical time out of the first set, and didn’t really look back despite a late challenge by the Cuban team.   

Alexa Gray, also named tournament MVP, led all scoring with 19 points, followed by Marie-Alex Belanger with 17 points. Sulian Matienzo reached double digits for Cuba with 12 points.

Cuba comes away with silver and also earns a berth in the 2018 World Championships, which will be held in Japan.  Nicaragua and St. Lucia finished third and fourth respectively.

Marcello Abbondanza, head coach of Canada: “We are very happy.  We played very good, especially in the first two sets. We showed what progress we’ve made this summer.  I’m happy for my team – they gave it 100-percent of what they had, and winning 3-0 is never easy, so bravo!”

Lucy Charuk, captain of Canada,:  “The last time we faced Cuba (at the Pan Am Cup in Peru) we lost to them, so  we’ve had our sights set on this match for the last month and a half.  We knew it came down to tonight.  We learned so much in the last five months, it’s awesome.  ... We love playing at home, it’s just the best feeling!”

Wilfredo Robinson Pupo, head coach of Cuba: “This was a very tough match and our players did their best. At the start of the tournament, we tried to play some of our younger players to get them used to this level of play, because we’ve recently had a lot of turnover with the addition of six new players….. The last was tough, but we didn’t have enough to respond to the completion. We can play better, but I’m happy that the team finished with a strong effort.”

“Canada played very well all game today. They were very strong on the block, which made things very difficult on us today.”

Sulian Matienzo, Cuba Captain: “We came here today, to do our best, but in the first two sets, we weren’t at our best because Canada played very well today….. We came to Canada to beat Canada, but this time we didn’t. Next time we will have to play better if we want to beat them.”