The home crowd enjoyed a quick and decisive match at the NORCECA Senior Women’s Continental Championship and World Championship Qualification Tournament (Group B) on Thursday in Langley, British Columbia.
Canada out-powered the smaller St. Lucian squad from the first whistle, wrapping it up in 54 minutes 3-0 (25-8, 25-8, 25-8).
Match top scorer was Alicia Ogoms with 13 points, followed by Alissa Coulter with 11 for the Canadian team.
In the third set, Saint Lucia put on more of a challenge early on, and even kept up with Canada to tie at five, but Canada quickly re-grouped to keep the Caribbean side in check.
The top two teams from this tournament earn a berth at the Women’s World Championships in Japan next year.
Marcello Abbondanza, head coach of Canada, said: “I appreciate the spirit in which Saint Lucia played; I think they tried to give everything they had and this is what sport is about. I think my team was focused and just tried to play our best volleyball. On Friday (yesterday), we have Nicaragua and we have to try to have our best to qualify (in the top two) for the World Championships. Then we can think about Cuba (on Saturday).”
Alicia Ogoms, player from Canada, said: “I thought overall we just tried to focus on our side of the net. I thought we did a really good job in keeping Saint Lucia’s scores under 10 and limiting our errors. I’m really happy with how we performed today.”
Kendell Charlery, head coach of Saint Lucia, said: “Well, it was a bit of a tough game because we know Canada is a tough team. We’ve got a pretty young team. For most of our team, this is their first time as senior members. We gave it a shot. We knew it was going to be tough but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and get ready for another game on Friday (yesterday). You go back home and you know you’ve got to prepare a lot more because the teams in our region are not on this level. The exposure to competition like this is a good experience for the players and a motivator for them as well.”
Cindy Wilson, Saint Lucia captain, said: “The game wasn’t a bad game because of their level of volleyball and our level of volleyball. Our blocking was not all there because they (Canada) play a faster game than we are used to and we weren’t able to get in position to block in time.”
Meanwhile, last evening, Saint Lucia took on Cuba and Nicaragua played Canada. Today, Nicaragua play Saint Lucia and it’s Canada versus Cuba.