A team of volleyball players hailing from Langley are so far triumphant at the Pan-American Games unfolding in Santo Domingo this week.
The Canadian team, represented by Trinity Western University’s men’s volleyball team, emerged from its second victory in as many outings at the Pan-Am Cup after defeating Mexico 3-1 (27-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21) on Saturday. Now they’re gearing up for another game mid-afternoon.
In yesterday’s play, after the Canadian side earned back-to-back two-point set victories, Mexico bounced back to force a fourth set with a four-point win, said Canada head coach Ben Josephson.
In the fourth set, Canada built a big lead, but Mexico rallied to close the gap midway through the set.
However, the Canadians held on for the win, with Schnitzer catching a tidy serving run near the end to finish it.
“The kind of competition that we’re in here is awesome. We have massive athletes banging balls and competing like crazy,” Josephson said.
Have you heard? Our very own @TWUSpartans Men's Volleyball team is currently representing as Team Canada at the Pan American Cup in the Dominican Republic! 🇨🇦 🏐
Learn more and see their schedule: https://t.co/g13KhUSDJS
_#twuspartans #twuvolleyball pic.twitter.com/Aqn5GiDBOj
— Trinity Western University (@TrinityWestern) September 5, 2021
Jesse Elser of Calgary and Langley’s own Brodie Hofer each recorded 18 points to lead the Canadian winning effort, followed by Calgary’s Jackson Howe, who contributed 15 points to the victory.
Jorge Hernández, Diego Gonzalez, and Josue Lopez finished in double digits for Mexico with 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively. Both teams had eight blocks while Canada (TWU) holding an 8-6 advantage in aces, with Elser and Jordan Schnitzer of Surrey landing three aces apiece.
“It’s the end of the international season, so we have a lot of really good volleyball being played with teams who have been together for a while. It’s a high level and we’re competing well and the guys are showing a ton of toughness,” Josephson added.
“I’m really proud of them. We talked a lot about making sure we made the most of this moment and representing Canada well. I don’t think we played great volleyball, but we played with great passion and great playmaking ability. Sometimes that’s enough to win and today it was.”
After defeating Suriname 3-0 on Friday, and Mexico 3-1 on Saturday, Team Canada goes up against Puerto Rico this afternoon.
As the defending Canada West and U SPORTS champions, TWU was asked to represent Canada at this year’s Pan-American Cup.
Colton Loewen – Aldergrove
Jackson Corneil – Surrey
Isaiah Olfert – Winnipeg, Man.
Brodie Hofer – Langley
Jackson Howe – Calgary
Aaron Elser – Calgary
Jesse Elser – Calgary
Jordan Schnitzer – Surrey
Liam Remple – Vernon
Adam Schriemer – Winnipeg, Man.
Derek Epp – Saskatoon, Sask.
Kaden Schmidt – Mississauga, Ont.
Sept. 5 – Canada vs. Puerto Rico – 2 p.m. PT
Sept. 6 – Canada vs. Dominican Republic – 4 p.m. PT
Sept. 7 – Canada vs. United States – 2 p.m. PT
Sept. 8 – Semifinals
Sept. 9 – Gold and bronze medal matches
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.
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