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Canada Wins Pool B With Victory over Puerto Rico

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 29, 2012, 5:05 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Senior Manager, Communications
E-mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org
Phone: 719-228-6800
@USA_Volleyball - USAV Facebook

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 29, 2012)-Canada won Pool B of the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship by defeating Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-15, 28-30, 25-12 on Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By winning the pool, Canada (3-0) advances directly to Friday’s semifinal round and Puerto Rico (2-1) will challenge Pool A’s third-place team in a quarterfinal match on Thursday.

Canada’s offense was distributed evenly with four players in double-figure scoring and six players with at least seven points. Dany Demyanenko led the way with 16 points and Jarrid Michael Ireland added 15 points in the victory.

Pedro Ramos Fernandez and Giovanni Llinas paced Puerto Rico with 14 points each.

Canada’s net defense produced a 16-5 block margin and limited its errors to 17 in the match to Puerto Rico’s 26. Canada also held a 57-44 attack point advantage with a 57.0 success percent on attacks with Milan Nikic handing out 27 running sets.

Canada used an 11-3 run to establish a 21-11 lead in the opening set en route to winning 25-13 with five blocks. Canada inched its way to a seven-point edge at 20-13 and finished strong with a 25-15 victory. After trailing 13-10, Canada rallied to take the lead at 22-21 with five unanswered points but Puerto Rico earned the first set point at 24-23. Canada saved three set points before taking the lead at 27-26, only to have Puerto Rico take the lead back at 29-28 after saving two match points and won 30-28. Canada raced to an 8-1 lead in the fourth set and never let up in a 25-12 victory.

“We knew coming into the match it would be a battle with Puerto Rico,” Canada captain Milan Nikic said. “They are a strong team and gave us the battle we expected. Our blocking was good, we were discipline in not reaching. The tournament doesn’t get any easier, and the job is not done.”

“I thought Puerto Rico was outstanding and disciplined in the match,” Canada head coach David Preston said. “They got us off balance. I agree with the (Puerto Rico) captain that Puerto Rico will get better, but so will we. After our No. 2 (Daniel James Groenveld) went down with an injury, I am proud how our team reacted and filled in.”

“Congratulations to Canada,” Puerto Rico head coach Ramon Hernandez said. “It is not easy to lose a third set like tonight and come back the way they did and win. That speaks well of their team. They did serve and blocking well. For my team, we had troubles passing and hitting tonight and that is something will want to improve upon. But overall, I am happy how my team is playing. We will regroup and be ready for Honduras tomorrow and play better to reach the semifinals.”

“My hats off to Canada for their consistent play,” Puerto Rico captain Cristian Rivera said. “They had did well blocking and serving, which are trademarks of their program. We can improve on our reception, and we showed that in the third set. We are looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”

2012 NORCECA Men's Junior Continental Championship Schedule

Pool A

Aug. 27: Mexico def. St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25-7, 25-10, 25-15 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 27: United States def. Honduras 25-12, 25-12, 25-16 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 28: Mexico def. Honduras 25-15, 26-24, 25-14 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 28: United States def. St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25-8, 25-8, 25-9 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 29: Honduras def. St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25-17, 25-11, 25-20 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 29: United States def. Mexico 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)

Pool B
Aug. 27: Puerto Rico def. Curacao, 27-25, 25-13, 25-23 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 27: Canada def. Guatemala 25-15, 25-13, 25-21 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 28: Canada def. Curacao 25-13, 25-7, 25-22 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 28: Puerto Rico def. Guatemala 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 29: Guatemala def. Curacao 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 29: Canada def. Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-15, 28-30, 25-12 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)

Quarterfinals
Aug. 30: Puerto Rico def. Honduras 25-16, 25-16, 25-11 (Match 13) (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 30: Mexico def. Guatemala 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)

Classification 5/8
Aug. 31: Guatemala def. St. Vincent and the Grenadines 25-12, 25-16, 25-16 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 31: Honduras def. Curacao 25-27, 25-19, 27-25, 25-19 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)

Semifinals
Aug. 31: Canada def. Mexico 25-17, 25-18, 24-26, 25-21 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Aug. 31: United States def. Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-16, 25-20 (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)

Final Classifications
Sept. 1: St. Vincent and the Grenadines vs. Curacao, 11:00 a.m. (7th Place) (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Sept. 1: Guatemala vs. Honduras, 1:00 p.m.  (5th Place) (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Sept. 1: Mexico vs. Puerto Rico 3:00 p.m. (Bronze) (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)
Sept. 1: Canada vs. United States, 5:30 p.m. (Gold) (Live Stats - Final Stats - Photos)

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