Canada wins bronze at NORCECA volleyball event
Alexa Gray's 21 points help vault Canadians past Puerto Rico for podium finish
Canada won bronze at the NORCECA women's volleyball continental championship, after defeating tournament hosts Puerto Rico 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-20) on Sunday.
The victory was especially sweet as Canada had suffered a straight-sets loss to the Puerto Ricans earlier in the tournament.
According to Canada's coach Ben Josephson, "the difference from our first match against Puerto Rico is three things: my staff really worked hard to make sure we learned from what we didn't do; they got it to the athletes; and the players digested to execute it well."
Alexa Gray was Canada's top scorer with a match-high 21 points on 17 kills and four blocks. Kiera Van Ryk had 13 points including four aces, and Emily Maglio contributed 12 points.
Puerto Rico's top scorer was Paulina Prieto with 10 points.
"We always want to peak once we get to playoffs and I think we did a great job following our game plan," said Gray.
"Our serving pressure the first time we faced Puerto Rico wasn't as good and today it dialed in, hitting our spots and put them in trouble. I am proud of how we recovered in the third set. We have a lot of heart and in January we will give it our all."
By reaching the final four, Canada also secured a spot in the January 2020 zonal Olympic qualifier.
The Dominican Republic ended up in gold-medal position, while the U.S. took silver after a five-set thriller.
With files from Volleyball Canada