Canadian men beat Puerto Rico to claim 2020 Olympics men’s volleyball bid

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Canadian men's Olympic qualification-Ryan Joseph-Volleyball Canada
Canada's Ryan Joseph Sclater, left, and Puerto Rico's Jessie Colon joust in Vancouver/FIVB photo

The Canadian men’s volleyball team on Sunday qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the Canadian women failed to make it.

The Canadian men defeated Puerto Rico in Vancouver with the North, Central America and Caribbean Confederation bid on the line a day after they upset Cuba in five sets. 

“We have to look at what we need to do from now until when we go to Tokyo, to really perform at the best level and challenge the best teams in the world,” said Canada coach Glenn Hoag, who will going to the Olympics for the fourth time, third as a coach. “We have a good level, I think we can have a better level.”

Arthur Szwarc led Canada with eight kills, four blocks and an ace in the 25-21, 25-15, 25-15 victory. John Gordon Perrin had 12 kills and Stephen Timothy Maar had 10 kills and two blocks. 

The Canadian men celebrate clinching a spot in the 2020 Olympics/FIVB photo

”It was a little hard to get to sleep last night after Cuba,” Canada’s Daniel Jensen Vandoorn said. “We had to reset. We knew it wasn’t done but we also knew the ball was in our court and it was our tournament to lose. I’m proud of the way our guys responded and we put together a clean match.

“This has been the highlight of my career. It was quite the experience. I’m so proud of the fans for not giving up on us and they deserve this as much as we do.”

Maurice Torres, who played at Pepperdine, led Puerto Rico with seven kills and an ace.

“We knew it was going to be really tough against Canada in front of the home crowd,” Torres said. “We had to give it our all but they were pretty much flawless.”

Cuba ended up finishing second in the pool and Mexico fourth.

Other men’s teams that have qualified include Tunisia, Iran, France and Venezuela.

Click here for more from the FIVB about the men’s Olympic qualification.

Among the women the qualifiers included Kenya, Korea, Turkey, Argentina and the Dominican Republic, which defeated Canada on Saturday and then Puerto Rico on Sunday.

The Canadian women finished with a loss to Mexico, which has former USC great Samantha Bricio on its roster and current Washington State standout Jocelyn Urias. The Canada roster included former Florida player Shainah Joseph, former BYU standout Alexa Gray, and Arizona State’s Andrea Mitrovic. The team was coached by Georgia’s Tom Black.

Click here for more from the FIVB about the women’s Olympic qualification.

The USA women qualified for the Olympics last summer, winning a qualification tournament in Shreveport, Louisiana. The USA men qualified last summer as well, winning their bid in a tournament in the Netherlands.

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