Canada's men's volleyball team defeats Puerto Rico, wins Pan Am bronze
TORONTO — Canada won the men's volleyball bronze medal with a 3-1 victory over Puerto Rico on Sunday at the Pan American Games.
Canada took control of the game early, winning the first two sets 25-11 and 25-12.
Puerto Rico won the scrappy third set 25-23 and gave Canada trouble early in the fourth. But the Canadians pulled away, with Puerto Rico making unforced errors and Canada dictating the game with big serves.
"Part of the reason we played so well is Puerto Rico played so poorly in the first two sets," said Canada's Frederic Winters. "They played better in the third and in the fourth, but we kept our composure, which was nice to see."
Captain Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon led the Canadians with 25 points, converting 19 of 27 spike attempts and scoring four points with his booming serve.
Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., added 14 points for Canada, with Calgary's Rudy Verhoeff scoring 13.
Hector Soto and Ezequiel Cruz had 11 points apiece for Puerto Rico.
Canada was defeated 3-1 by Argentina in Friday's semifinals. While there was some disappointment in not being able to compete for the gold medal at home, Canada's Adam Simac said it was good to see his team step up in the bronze-medal game.
"It's nice to medal on home soil," he said. "It's not the colour we were looking for, it's not the colour that we had envisioned ourselves winning a few weeks ago when we really talked about this in all seriousness.
"I'm really proud of the guys for bouncing back today after a sub-par performance against Argentina."
The Canadian Press