Detroit, USA, May 21, 2015 – Hosts USA and Canada both made winning starts to their FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup qualifiers with victories over Mexico and Cuba at the Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.
Two sides will qualify for the 2015 World Cup from the NORCECA qualifiers, with the tournament set to take place across Japan from September 8-23. The World Cup then serves at the first qualifying tournament for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
The USA beat a young Mexican side 3-0 (25‐15, 25‐12, 25‐17), a match in which opposite Murphy Troy led scoring with 15 points.
“I think we served the ball really well. That is an obvious positive,” US coach John Speraw said. “Interestingly, a few of our errors were almost uncharacteristic. We can serve the ball even better.
“They are a young team, they actually dug a couple balls in some pretty impressive rallies.”
Canada also enjoyed a 3-0 (25‐22, 25‐18, 25‐17) victory to stretch their run over wins over the Caribbean islanders to three following FIVB Volleyball World League victories on May 16 and 17.
Gavin Schmitt was leading scorer with 15 points, while middle blocker Justin Duff added 12 and setter TJ Sanders weighed in with four aces.
“The guys were nervous at the start,” Canada coach Glenn Hoag said. “We played Cuba twice at home last week, but this tournament is a different situation with it being a qualifier into the World Cup.”
On Friday Mexico take on Canada, while USA play Cuba. The following day Mexico meets Cuba before USA and Canada close the round-robin tournament on Sunday.