Canada finishes off Puerto Rico

KEN WIEBE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:46 AM ET

It turns out recent history meant absolutely nothing.

After not winning a set against Puerto Rico in more than two years, Canada's national women's team took out the eraser and earned an exhilarating five-set victory last night at the Investors Group Athletic Centre to improve to 2-0 in the 2007 NORCECA Women's Continental Volleyball Championship.

"It would have been nice to not have to do it in five (sets) but our No. 1 goal for this tournament was beating Puerto Rico," said Team Canada captain Emily Cordonier, who came off the bench and contributed seven points.

Canada captured the first two sets by identical 25-20 scores but were unable to put away the Puerto Ricans in the third, losing 26-24.

Puerto Rico rallied in the fourth set and won easily, 25-15, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

In that final set, the game was tied 4-4 before Canada rattled off the final 11 points to win 15-4 and close out the match.

"We just kept our focus and left the fourth set behind," said Cordonier. "Once we got rolling and kept the pressure on them, they crumbled a little bit in that fifth set."

Canada faces Cuba today at 8 p.m. to determine first place in Pool A, while the United States and the Dominican Republic meet at 6 p.m. to determine top spot in Pool B.

Now that they've found their stride, Canada is gearing up for the next test.

"We're playing great volleyball right now and any team is beatable -- you just have to bring it," said Canada's Tiffany Dodds, who split last night's match between setter and right side and recorded 13 points.

Canada middle Tasha Holmes led the offensive attack with 16 points, while Eva Cruz of Puerto Rico lead all scorers with 21 points.

NET NOTES: Volleyball Canada honoured long-time setter Anne-Marie Lemieux for her contribution to the women's program last night ... At the NORCECA Continental Men's Championship in Anaheim, Calif., Team Canada lost to Cuba three sets to one (22-25, 25-22, 23-25, 18-25) to finish round robin play at 2-1 ... Right side Dallas Soonias led Canada with 23 points ... Canada will play either Mexico or Barbados in the quarter-final today.


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