Canada denied Olympic berth after loss to U.S.

The Canadian men’s volleyball team just missed out on its first Olympic berth in 20 years.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Canadian men’s volleyball team just missed out on its first Olympic berth in 20 years.

Canada played three competitive sets against the United States before losing to the defending Olympic gold medallists 28-26, 25-18, 25-20 Saturday night in the final of the NORCECA Olympic men’s qualifying tournament at Long Beach State University.

With the victory, the United States qualifies for the London Games. Canada was seeking its first Olympic berth since 1992.

“It was a tough match,” Canada’s Fred Winters said. “We haven’t played them in so long that we don’t know how we stack up against them. Obviously, we can play with them.”

Canada reached the NORCECA final after sweeping its three opponents in group play — including fifth-ranked Cuba — and rallying for a quarter-final victory over Puerto Rico.

“This is a good sign,” coach Glenn Hoag said, adding Canada is progressing towards a berth at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “We still have a lot of work to do. Our aim, really, is 2016.”

In the first set, both teams tied the score 14 times and exchanged the lead five times, with Canada forcing set point four times before the United States’ Reid Priddy made two consecutive kills for the win.

Red Deer’s Dallas Soonias, in his first tournament start, had nine kills and a service ace in the set.

“We made some stupid mistakes in the first set,” Winter said. “We don’t have the same quality in all six positions on the court so we have to make up for it with mental toughness and smarts.”

Canada narrowed a 20-12 deficit in the second set to 21-16 behind two kills and a block assist from Soonias. But two service errors helped the United States build a 23-17 lead. In the third set, Canada held a 9-7 lead when the United States went on a 7-2 surge to move ahead, 14-11. Canada drew within 22-20 but another service error combined with Matt Anderson’s two kills ended the match.

Soonias led Canada with 17 kills and Winters added 12 kills.Anderson pounded 13 kills for the United States, Clayton Stanley had 12 kills and two service aces, and David Lee had seven kills and five blocks.

“We showed a lot of great things over this week,” Hoag said. “But we’re still a team that sometimes lacks finish and some confidence and that can’t happen when you play a team like the U.S.”

Just Posted

Much left to fight for beyond legalization, pot activists say as they mark 4-20

TORONTO — Cannabis activists say although this year’s 4-20 celebrations across the… Continue reading

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Alabama mail-bomber the oldest executed in US modern times

ATMORE, Ala. — An Alabama man convicted of sending mail bombs during… Continue reading

Trudeau ends three-country tour with his global reputation, alliances intact

LONDON — Justin Trudeau is heading home from a lengthy, three-country foreign… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Woman who lost pink house, court case seeks box office win

WASHINGTON — Susette Kelo’s Supreme Court case now has a Hollywood ending,… Continue reading

U.S. woman sentenced to life in Valentine’s Day shooting plot at mall

HALIFAX — An American woman who plotted to go on a Valentine’s… Continue reading

Alabama mail-bomber the oldest executed in US modern times

ATMORE, Ala. — An Alabama man convicted of sending mail bombs during… Continue reading

The Latest: It was Putin call that had Trump fuming at Flynn

WASHINGTON — The Latest on former FBI Director James Comey’s memos (all… Continue reading

Trudeau ends three-country tour with his global reputation, alliances intact

LONDON — Justin Trudeau is heading home from a lengthy, three-country foreign… Continue reading

Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Riley Nash step up in Game 4 win over Leafs

Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1 TORONTO — The Boston Bruins didn’t need… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month