SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Canada, who is represented by Trinity Western University’s men’s volleyball team, lost for the first time at the Pan American Cup, losing to the USA 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 31-29, 18-25, 15-13) on Tuesday. Canada (TWU) will now play the host Dominican Republic in the semifinals Wednesday at 4 p.m. (PT).
Canada’s Brodie Hofer (Langley, B.C.) and Jesse Elser (Calgary) each tallied 24 points as top scorers in the match while Isaiah Olfert (Winnipeg) and Jackson Howe (Calgary) finished with 12 apiece.
The Spartans finished the round robin portion of the tournament with a 4-1 record, with wins over Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Suriname.
Grant Sloane led United States with 17 points followed by Cole Gillis (14), Merrit McHenry (12) and Shane Holdaway (10).
As the defending Canada West and U SPORTS champions, TWU was asked to represent Canada at this year’s Pan-American Cup.
After the tournament, the Spartans men’s volleyball team will return to Trinity Western to begin their local preseason games in preparation for their season opener on Nov. 5.
AS IT HAPPENED
After dropping the first set, Canada bounced back to take the second set by seven points and looked on pace to win the third set as well, holding a 24-20 lead. However, a late response from the USA saw the Americans storm back to win 31-29. TWU replied with a convincing fourth-set win, but, in the fifth set, the USA went on a late run to seal the win.
Canada Head Coach Ben Josephson
“It was a tough loss tonight. It was an epic five-set battle. It was a bunch of college kids going at it and there were really good systems on both sides of the court and it was super competitive. We love to get into those types of battles, especially in early September. We couldn’t ask for a better challenge or a better learning opportunity, playing against guys who have a similar style and flow and size that we do. It was a good battle.
“The turning point and the thing we’re going to regret is that we were up 24-20 in the third set and we let that one get away. That is a credit to the USA. They were great in that run. We had two swings in there to end it and the USA had two huge plays to keep that alive and win the point. But I was really proud of how our team responded in the fourth set. Then, in the fifth, it was back and forth and then they made a run and in fifth sets, there’s no time to recover from a run. Credit to those guys because they made some tough plays in key moments.”
Sept. 3 – Canada (3) Suriname (0)
Sept. 4 – Canada (3) Mexico (1)
Sept. 5 – Canada (3) Puerto Rico (1)
Sept. 6 – Canada (3) Dominican Republic (1)
Sept. 7 – Canada (2) United States (3)
Sept. 8 – Semifinal | Canada vs. Dominican Republic – 4 p.m. (PT)
Sept. 9 – Gold and Bronze Medal Matches
Colton Loewen – Aldergrove, B.C.
Jackson Corneil – Surrey, B.C.
Isaiah Olfert – Winnipeg, Man.
Brodie Hofer – Langley, B.C.
Jackson Howe – Calgary, Alta.
Aaron Elser – Calgary, Alta.
Jesse Elser – Calgary, Alta.
Jordan Schnitzer – Surrey, B.C.
Liam Remple – Vernon, B.C.
Adam Schriemer – Winnipeg, Man.
Derek Epp – Saskatoon, Sask.
Kaden Schmidt – Mississauga, Ont.
Head Coach – Ben Josephson
Assistant Coach – Ben Ball
2nd Assistant Coach – Jordan Or
Doctor – Abe Avender
Physiotherapist – Nick Del Bianco
Statistician – Anselm Rein
Team Lead – Joel Jansen
Team Manager – Linden Bontkes