Canada's women's National team is bouncing back in fine fashion from a disappointing Champions Cup by kicking off the Pan Am Cup with a 2-0 record in Peru.
The ladies opened the tournament with a huge five-set win over Brazil (25-15, 14-25, 25-15, 26-28, 15-9), and followed it up with a straight-set win over Uruguay (25-16, 25-9, 25-13).
After a 0-3 start to the season at the NORCECA Champions Cup in Cuba last weekend, a win over Brazil means much more than just points in the standings. Canada's offence, which struggled in Cuba, was firing on all cylinders, out-hitting the Brazilians 56-38. Jaimie Thibeault (Sylvan Lake, Ab) led the charge with 14 kills on 20 attempts, while Brittney Page (Vernon, BC) chipped in with 13.
Canada's blocking was another key to victory, recording 15 blocks in the match, with Lucy Charuk (Tsawwassen, BC) putting up four on her own, while Kyla Richey (Robert's Creek, BC) and Tabi Love (Dauphin, Mb) added three each.
Another bright spot was the play of 20-year old Shainah Joseph (Ottawa, On) who dawned the maple leaf for the first time. She added four kills, a block and an ace coming in off the bench in the final three sets. The Florida Gator going into her third-year is definitely one of the top up-and-coming talents to watch for Canada.
Joseph was also big in the win over Uruguay, adding five kills, a block and an ace while Marie-Pier Murray-Methot (Quebec, Qc) led all players with seven kills and an ace. Jenn Cross (Scarborough, On) was big at the net as well with four blocks.
Currently sitting in a three-way tie with Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Canada's next match is against Peru. The hosts will be hungry for a win in front of their home crowd, having dropped both matches so far.