Canada Defeats Trinidad and Tobago

June 30, 2009, 7:23 p.m. (ET)

Match #23: Canada Records First Victory of Pan American Cup

MIAMI, Fla. (June 30, 2009) – Canada claimed its first victory in Pool B of the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup by defeating Trinidad & Tobago 25-21, 25-10, 25-23 in the final day of preliminary pool-play round at U.S. Century Bank Arena of Florida International University.

The Trinidadians slowed down in the latter stages of set one after leading for the most part of it and came alive again at the end of set three against the more experienced Canadians. The winners held advantages of 10-4 and 8-4 in blocks and aces respectively.

Sofie-Hanna Schlagintweit led Canada with 16 points including five aces and three blocks, and Tonya Mokelki recorded 11 points, all in attacks. Cole Meek contributed eight with four blocks and Jennifer Hinze had two aces among her eight tallies.

Krystle Esdelle paced the Trinidadians offense with 15 points and Kelly-Anne Billingy added 10 points.

“We started very slow with some of the players who haven’t played much before,” said Arnd Ludwig, the coach of Canada. “Then we started to serve better. We slowed down in the third set allowing the opponent to come back. We are battling with some injuries, but we hope to play better.”

“Our team is a lot better now that we finally have the complete squad,” said Nicholson Drakes, the coach of Trinidad & Tobago. “But we need to eliminate the simple mistakes during the game. I am very confident that we will play better the rest of the tournament.”

After a rest day on July 1, Canada next plays Mexico (5th in Pool A) while Trinidad & Tobago meets Costa Rica (4th in Pool A) on July 2 at University of Miami.