Canadian men's volleyball team punches its ticket to 2018 worlds
Canucks defeat Mexico 3-1 for bronze medal at NORCECA championship
The Canadian men's volleyball team secured its spot in the 2018 FIVB world championship with a 3-1 win over Mexico on Sunday in the third-place match of the NORCECA men's championship.
"We knew it would be difficult — Mexico can serve and spike. We were not aggressive enough in the beginning, maybe not ready for a strong serve. I thought we played a serious game," said Canada's head coach Stéphane Antiga.
Canada finished the tournament with a 3-1 record and the bronze medal. Mexico finishes 3-2 and will advance to the next four-team world championship qualifier.
"That was our second goal — the first one was to win this competition and the second one was to qualify to World Championships, so we made [half our goals]. I think we needed one set to get over yesterday's defeat against U.S," Antiga said.
Mexico led Canada in attacks (51-50). Canada led in aces (6-4) and blocks (10-5).
"We didn't come play in the beginning, it showed in our play. They have two big servers that gave us problems in the first set — Rangel and Barajas — but after we were able to side them out after one or two and that takes a lot out of their game," said Canadian captain Gordon Perrin.
Errors proved costly for Mexico as Canada scored 32 points on Mexico's miscues while Mexico scored 21 points on Canada's errors.
Outside hitters Nick Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., and Stephen Maar of Aurora, Ont., led the scoring with 18 points each. Maar had a match-high 16 spikes and Hoag had a match-high four aces.