NORCECA: Women Learn Lessons at Champions Cup

The Canadian woman's national team is coming home winless from the NORCECA Champions Cup in Havana, Cuba, losing all three matches and missing out on a berth to the FIVB World Cup. 

With the U.S. getting a direct bid to the World Cup as the World Champions, Canada was joined by the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico in the Cuban capital. 

The woman opened with a gutsy 3-1 loss to the Dominican Republic, a team favoured by most to win the tournament. While Canada out-hit the Carribeans 46  to 35, anytime you made 20 serving errors, things aren't going to be easy. Tabi Love (Dauphin, Mb) led the match with 21 points and added 13 digs, while Lucy Charuk (Tsawwassen, BC) added four blocks and two aces. 

Next was a disappointing loss to a young Cuban team who bounced back from a loss of their own to Puerto Rico the night before. Canada jumped out to a great start, taking the opening set 25-21, but the wheels fell off from there. The hosts put up a wall, making 12 blocks in the match, and the girls in red and white started making errors - a total of 33 over four sets. Tabi once again led the team in scoring, with 13 points. 

With an 0-2 record, Canada's chances at Japan were dashed, leaving the final game against rivals Puerto Rico with zero meaning. Canada's offence sputtered - scoring only 26 times on 88 attempts, leaving strong blocking from the Canucks (11 team blocks) to keep things close. It ended up being a lose-lose, as Puerto Rico took the match 3-0, the Cuban win over the Dominican Republic created a three-way tie which left the Puerto Ricans on the outside looking in. 

The women now have a month to prepare for the FIVB Grand Prix, where they'll kick things off in Carolina, Puerto Rico on July 4th against the hosts and will also play Poland and Bulgaria.