Mexico moved into Semifinals with a Five-Set Win over Canada

COLIMA, Mexico, June 19, 2024.- Mexico won a hard-fought battle against Canada in five sets, securing a 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 19-25, 15-13 victory to advance to the semifinals of the Boys’ U17 Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico.

Mexico topped pool A with a perfect 3-0 record. Canada finished second with a 2-1 record and will face Nicaragua in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Mexico led in attacks (62-43) and service points (9-7). Canada had a significant advantage in blocking points, leading 18-7, and committed 26 errors compared to Mexico’s 38.

Ricardo Gonzalez MEX

The leading scorer of the match was Mexican opposite hitter Ricardo González, who tallied 23 points from 21 attacks, one block, and one ace. Outside hitter Oskar González also scored  double digits, contributing 21 points from 18 attacks and 3 aces. Emi Díaz added 12 points to the victory.

For Canada, outside hitters Seth Brunoro and Tyson DeZutter each scored 16 points. Middle blocker Brayden Long contributed 15 points, including a match-high of 7 blocks. Opposite hitter William Clarmo added 5 blocks to his total of 13 points.

Canada made a tremendous effort, recovering from a two-set deficit to push the match to a dramatic fifth set, where they initially led 6-4. The teams were tied at 10, 11, and 13 points. Oskar González then pushed Mexico to match point with a powerful kill, and the winning point came from Eduardo Escoto, who blocked Canadian captain Tyson DeZutter.

Kade Funk CAN

Mexican head coach Denis Omar Rivera said, “The victory came from the heart. Canada was very disciplined on the court and knew how to adjust against us. We will review the mistakes we made with the players, study the match, and be prepared for what comes next”.

Dan Ota, head coach of Canada said, “We know how to fight. We knew that we could recover from 0-2 if we made some good adjustments, and we did. Going into the fifth set anything could happen, we had chances to win and obviously they had a couple more points at the end. It’s a very good learning experience for us and that’s the number one thing. This environment, with the fans, was incredible and it makes things very special for this young group, it’s an experience that our players will never forget”.