Canada blows by Puerto Rico at Olympic men’s volleyball qualifier

Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., scored a game high 16 points on Tuesday as Canada dumped Puerto Rico in straight sets at the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament in men’s volleyball. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-13.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., scored a game high 16 points on Tuesday as Canada dumped Puerto Rico in straight sets at the NORCECA Olympic qualifying tournament in men’s volleyball.

Set scores were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-13.

Canada improved its record to 2-0 in round-robin play and will face world No. 5 Cuba for first spot in its group and a bye to the semifinal on Wednesday. The tournament champion earns a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics.

Although Canada is ranked 18th in the world and Puerto Rico 17th, the Canadians dominated the match with a strong blocking game in particular. Led by Van Lankvelt and Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., with six points on the block each, the Canadians outblocked their opponents 15-3 overall.

Meanwhile, Saskatoon’s Gavin Schmitt continued to fire missiles on the attack adding 14 points for the Canadians while Libero Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., continued to display amazing ball control and retrieval abilities.

In other matches at the regional qualifier for North and Central America and the Caribbean, Cuba defeated the Dominican Republic in straight sets and Mexico beat Trinidad and Tobago in four sets. The U.S., played Costa Rica in Tuesday’s late match.

The first place teams in each group get a bye to the semis while second and third cross over in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

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