Canada wins pool A and reaches NORCECA semifinals

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 28, 2021. - Canada won pool A defeating Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 24-26, 25-14) to reach the semifinals of the Women’s NORCECA Continental Championship that grants two tickets to the 2022 FIVB World Championship.

All three teams in pool A finished with the same 1-1 win-loss record, with top-ranked Canada earning a direct spot into semifinals, followed by United States and Puerto Rico respectively.

In quarterfinals, United States plays Costa Rica and Puerto Rico waits for the loser between Mexico and defending champions Dominican Republic.

Canada jumped to an early lead in all four sets with a consistent performance; Puerto Rico was able to even score in the third set up to 14 all, the set they won, still struggling to contain Canada’s middle blockers.  

Las canadienses encabezaron todos los elementos de juego, ataques (56-42), bloqueos (10-6) y servicios (8-4), and giving away 27 points on unforced errors against 25 from Puerto Rico.

Five players from Canada scored double-digits, led by outside hitter Hilary Howe with a match-high of 19 points, with 4 points as top server, outside hitter Vicky Savard followed with 16 points, middle blocker Alicia Ogoms added 13 points and outside hitter Kyra Van Ryk tallied 12 points.

Puerto Rico’s top scorers were outside hitters Stephanie Enright and Marie Victoria with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Jennifer Cross, Captain of Canada: “We had a great match, we focused on our side, and we were really aggressive. We made adjustments from yesterday’s game and we played Canadian volleyball. Puerto Rico tried a lot of things but I think it was more what we did. Tomorrow we will take time to recover”.

Shannon Winzer, Coach of Canada: “We played really well, we controlled from first contact and Brie set an excellent game. We used our middles far more than we did last night and they were very effective, that freed up our outsides a little more and we were able to rely on multiple hitters rather than just one or two”.

Natalia Valentín, Captain of Puerto Rico: “Canada was perfect, they had a specific game play and executed it well. We never adjusted to their game plan; we can learn from this and continue the tournament strong”.

Fernando Morales, Coach of Puerto Rico: “Canada had a clean performance, they played without errors, and they received well too, compared to yesterday when they had trouble in receiving and the connection between the setter and attackers. We did good for a moment but we were a little anxious”.