May 25, 2016 – Canada outclassed United States 3-1 (26-24, 26-28, 25-19, 31-29) on Tuesday evening to move into the Men’s Pan American Cup semifinals at Olympic Gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.
Canada, with Courtenay’s Brad Gunter in the lineup, and the United States played an intense quarter-final with long rallies and exciting plays from both sides. Finally, Canada came out on top with minor advantages in spikes (53-50), in blocking (12-9) and (8-5) in aces. Canada committed 36 errors and United States 35.
Canada’s Stephen Maar topped all scorers with 29 points, on 25 kills, three blocks and one serve. Outside hitter Jason DeRocco also contributed to Canada’s win with 14 points and middle blocker Lucas Van Berkel with 11 points.
Outside hitter Torey Defalco led USA with 23 points, 20 on kills and three blocks, while outside hitter Joshua Taylor chipped in with 11 points.
Canada’s captain Brett Walsh said that “The word that defines today’s win is resilient, we never gave up, it was a tough match with ups and downs, but we went on doing what was needed.”
Coach Georges Laplante of Canada said “The team was focused, mentally into the game and I am nothing but satisfied. It was a crucial match….”
Ron Larsen, coach of United States, said Canada “played better than us. We had a lot of errors and Canada played with good rhythm, they were more determined and did a better job in completing the tasks.”
Canada meets Argentina today (May 25) at 18h local time (7 p.m. Eastern time). Streaming is available on YouTube.
Cuba takes on Mexico in today’s other semifinal. The gold medal games goes May 26.