Feature photo: Rudy Verhoeff, centre, jumps to block along with teammates Gavin Schmitt, left, and Nicholas Hoag (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
The men’s volleyball team beat USA 3-2 (19-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 15-12) in a thrilling comeback, to head into the semifinals of the Pan Am Games tournament undefeated.
The team was confident going into Tuesday night’s match against USA. However, after losing the first two sets against one of the top volleyball nations in the world, it appeared USA would put an end to the host’s winning streak. Only Canada came back to defeat the visitors for an automatic berth to the semifinals.
The Canadians had the crowd behind them heading into the third set despite coming off two close set defeats at 19-25 and 25-27. The home sight fought hard for just about every point in the third set winning 25-23 to stay in the match. The stands erupted as Canada advanced to the fourth set, where the team won 25-16 to tie up the evening at two sets apiece.
With a direct ticket to semifinals on the line, fans at Exhibition Centre were on their feet cheering for a home court victory. The team responded with a 15-12 win over USA to finish at the top of Pool B. Gord Perrin led the team with 16 points followed by Gavin Schmitt and Graham Vigrass who scored 14 and 12 respectively.
Next up, the men’s team will look to continue its winning streak in the semifinals on July 24.