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Canadians’s blocking was the key in their first win


MEXICALI, Baja California, June 5, 2006.- Canada recovered from a slow start and defeated the Dominican Republic 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18) during the first match of the inaugural Men’s Pan American Cup. The bigger Canadians dominated the game at the net, building up a high wall that created a lot of problems to the Dominicans.


Fred Winters led Canada with 20 points followed by Pascal Cardinal and Steve Brinkman with 14 and 11 respectively. Elvis Contreras led all the scorers with 26 points but he was the only Dominican in double figures.


 “We improved our serves after the first set and that contributed to our better blocking,” said Murray Grapentine, the captain of Canada. Glenn Hoag, the Canadian coach added: “We committed too many unforced errors in the first set but also were able to overcome those mistakes.


 The Dominicans, obviously, did not play at the level they are capable of.” Julio Frias, the Dominican coach said his team played well “considering the fact it was our first international match in nine months. We hope to improve the rest of the tournament and qualify to the quarterfinals.”


The spikes of Contreras combined with the erratic serving of Canada were the main ingredients of the first set won by the Dominican Republic. The Canadians stabilized their game after the second time-out and Winters played a key role in the offence of the North Americans in the second set.


Brinkman’s spikes and the strong blocking contributed to Canadians’s leads 8-4 and 16-10 during the pauses and the pattern continued the same of an easy third set. Canada jumped to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set helped by the spikes of Cardinal and the blocks of Winters, and never looked back establishing a clear superiority at the net.

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