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Volleyball Canada – SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, October 11, 2019 – Canada reached the semifinals and claimed a spot in the NORCECA Olympic qualifier (next January) after defeating Mexico 3-1 (25-20, 29-31, 25-17, 25-20) at the NORCECA Continental Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
 
Canada will face an undefeated U.S. in the semis. Canada advanced to semifinals in a thrilling quarterfinal win on Friday, which included the longest set of the tournament (31-29), won by Mexico.  Eventually Canada overcame Mexico with large margins in blocks (11-5) and aces (10-4); and also held the advantage in attacks (59-53) and committed fewer errors (24-26).
 
Kiera Van Ryk scored 28 points in Canada’s victory, which included seven aces, while Alexa Gray added 24 points on 21 kills, two  blocks and one ace and Emily Maglio collected 11 points. Mexico’s Andrea Rangel led her team with 25 points on 23 kills and two blocks.
 
Canadian opposite Kiera Van Ryk said: “I’m excited, definitely a first goal was making sure to be in January’s event and I am proud of our performance,” said Van Ryk. “It will be a good game facing United States, personally I haven’t played against their A team and for sure it will be a tough battle.”
 
The first semi-final between Canada and the U.S. takes place at 6 pm on Saturday.  Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will play in the other semi at 8:15 pm local time.

Canada’s roster:
#1 Jessie Niles, Turner Valley, AB
#3 Kiera Van Ryk, Surrey, BC
#4 Kyla Richey (C), Roberts Creek, BC
#5 Danielle Smith, Beaverlodge, AB
#8 Alicia Ogoms, Winnipeg, MB
#9 Alexa Gray, Calgary, AB
#12 Jennifer Cross, Scarborough, ON
#13 Brie King, Langley, BC
#14 Hilary Howe, Calgary, AB
#16 Shainah Joseph, Ottawa, ON
#17 Kristen Moncks, Standard, AB
#19 Marie-Alex Bélanger, Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, QC
#20 Alicia Perrin, Creston, BC
#23 Emily Maglio, Coquitlam, BC
 
Staff:
Head Coach: Ben Josephson
Assistant Coach: Joseph Trinsey
Assistant Coach: Shannon Winzer
Team Manager: Cody Piwowar-Desilets
Physiotherapist: Fraser Perry
Statistician: Christophe Elek

Playoff schedule here. 
 
Web stream (by subscription): NORCECA TV https://www.internetv.tv/
 
Photo and info: NORCECA

Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender jskender@volleyball.ca
Mobile: 613-794-7676