Lausanne, Switzerland, September 28, 2017 – Canada and Mexico edged nearer a place at the Italy-Bulgaria 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship when they progressed to the semifinals at the NORCECA Continental Qualifiers, on Thursday.
Canada defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-10), while Mexico also won in straight sets, 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-10) against Costa Rica.
The USA also finished top of their pool following a 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-10) win over the Dominican Republic, but their lesser point differential mean that they will have to play in the quarterfinals where they will take on Costa Rica.
Trinidad and Tobago will play the Dominican Republic in the other quarterfinal on Friday.
The NORCECA Continental Qualifiers are taking place from September 26-October 1. The top three teams in the 10-team field will earn berths at the 2018 World Championship, while two more teams will come from a second NORCECA qualifier that will be held later in the year.
The USA are hosting the tournament at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado when nine teams will aim to book a place at the World Championship that runs from September 10-30 across Italy and Bulgaria.
Outside hitter Nick Hoag led the way for Canada with 16 points and opposite Sharone Vernon-Evans added 15 points, including a match-high four blocks.
“They are very athletic players and the made some good plays in the first set,” Canada captain Gordon Perrin said. “They actually played really good defence and received well too, so they tested us in the first set.
“We made a lot of unforced errors in the first set and they played well, so we have to give it to them.”
Mexico were sparked by Jorge Barajas and Daniel Vargas who scored 14 points apiece in their victory.
“This match was more difficult for us. We thought they were a little weaker, but it was a good match on their part,” Mexico captain Pedro Rangel said. “It was one that we used for the opportunity to go directly to the semifinals. We didn’t play very well.”
Also on Thursday Martinique beat St Vincent and the Grenadines 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-10).