Puerto Rico starts NORCECA Championship with straight set win over Canada

DURANGO, Mexico, August 18, 2021. - Puerto Rico started the Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship with a straight set win 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-19) over Canada at the Auditorio del Pueblo in Durango, Mexico.

Outside hitter Pelegrin Vargas and opposite Gabriel García led Puerto Rico with 11 points apiece; Vargas on 8 kills and 3 blocks, García also on 8 kills and 3 aces.

Opposite Xander Ketrzynski was Canada’s top scorer with 12 points on 10 kills, one block and one ace, followed by outside hitter Brandon Koppers with 11 points.

Puerto Rico held a 32-29 attacking advantage, in blocks both teams scored 7 points and Canada led 5-4 in serves. Puerto Rico committed 18 unforced errors while Canada finished with 34.

Puerto Rico´s (1-0) next opponent is Mexico and Canada’s (0-1) is Trinidad and Tobago.

Arturo Iglesias, Captain of Puerto Rico: “To start with a 3-0 win against a world level team like Canada give us confidence. We were very patient when things weren’t working, we were aggressive and we weren’t worried of what was happening on the other side”.

Oswald Antonetti, Coach of Puerto Rico: “Winning gives confidence to the group; this is like a sand watch, feeding from each play, from each change of the ball and the teams’ growth. I believe in this group, they play good volleyball and are motivated to improve. The instructions to adjust were simple”.

James Walsh, Captain of Canada: “It’s never fun to lose but we can learn a lot from this game and we are excited to improve for our next match. Puerto Rico’s serves was a lot better than ours, they made less mistakes than we did, in volleyball that’s what it comes down to”.

Larry McKay, Coach of Canada: “My team’s performance was good and we will get better. Puerto Rico was better in every area, they played better volleyball overall than we did”.