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Mexico edged Canada in sensational match

MEXICALI, Baja California, June 6, 2006.- Mexico edged Canada in a five-set thriller with captain Ivan Contreras spiking for the last point of the sensational match in the First Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup. The final score was 25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 14-25, 21-19 and Mexico improved its record to 2-0 in Pool A. Canada is tied with Dominican Republic in second place with 1-1.

Contreras led four Mexican in double figures with 21 points. Jose Martell and Carlos Guerra each added 15 and Gustavo Meyer had 11.

Pascal Cardinal was the best Canadian with 21 points, Steve Brinkman scored 16 and Dallas Soonias added 15. “We had not beaten Canada in a long time, so it is a great triumph,” said Jorge Azair, the Mexican coach, “We have a group of players with experience from the European Leagues, like Ivan, Guerra and Meyer with a winning mentality. What we need is more support and to have them more time together.”

“Ivan is a great player and he provides leadership to his younger teammates,” said Glenn Hoag, the Canadian coach. “He is very consistent and Mexico played well and deserved the victory.”

Mexico recovered from initial problems and took the first set with a combined effort led by Jose Martell and Ivan Contreras. The Canadians were ahead 8-2 and 16-15 during the technical pauses with the spikes and blocks by Brinkman.

The Mexicans played very consistently in the second set with Guerra and Contreras providing the spark. They were ahead 8-7 and 16-13 at the stops and Contreras closed out the set with two bombs.

The Canadians improved their overall game especially the blocking and dominated the third set from start to finish with Cardinal producing some strong kills  The fourth set was a festival of aces from the Canadians with Brinkman leading the parade with three of his own.

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