Vernon, Gyimah Bring High-Flying Offense to Canadian Men’s U21 Team

Volleyball Canada has announced its 2017 Men’s Junior National Team roster that will compete at the 2017 U21 Pan American Cup that will be hosted in Fort McMurray, Alberta from May 16-21.

The team will converge at the national center in Gatineau at the Centre Sportif in preparation for the event. 12 of the 14 players named to the preliminary roster will be chosen to travel to Fort McMurray.

That Pan American Cup is crucial, because the top NORCECA (North/Central America, Caribbean) and top CSV (South American) teams will earn an automatic berth for this summer’s U21 FIVB World Championships. Those World Championships will be held from June 23 to July 2 in Czech Republic.

“We are extremely happy with the 2017 edition of our U21 team,” said Julien Boucher, High Performance Director. “We had a productive selection camp, which I would consider one of our best ever and that’s a tribute to all players and staff who attended. Our future looks bright.”

“We’re excited about this year’s group of players,” said Gino Brousseau, head coach of the junior team. “Many of the athletes were part of the program last year, and have gained valuable experience and maturity over the past year.  We’re looking forward to the opportunity to play in our home country to work toward the goal of U21 World Championship qualification.”

Canada placed 3rd at last year’s Pan American Volleyball Cupin Mexico City, which matched their previous podium performance from 2011 (where they hosted in Gatineau). That made them the second-best NORCECA team behind only Cuba in that tournament (Argentina took silver). The United States has already qualified via their win at last year’s NORCECA Championship (as have Argentina via a South American title), which means the qualifying spots will go to the highest teams that are yet-unqualified.

Among the stars of the team are the world’s highest-flying outside hitter (of any age) Sharone Vernon-Evans; All-MPSF performer Danean Gyimah from UCLA; and McMaster outside hitter Matt Passalent, who ranked 3rd nationally with a .460 hitting percentage last season. The team is loaded with offensive firepower, which will be their strength as they take on the best teams in the Western Hemisphere.

2017 Canadian Men’s Junior Volleyball Team

Mikael Clegg; St. Andrews, MB; (University of Winnipeg) – Setter
Jesse Elser; Calgary, AB (FTC – Team Canada) – Left Side
Derek Epp; Saskatoon, SK; (University of Saskatchewan) – Setter
Andre Foreman; London, ON (Fanshawe College) – Libero
Daenan Gyimah; Scarborough, ON (UCLA Bruins) – Middle
Jacob Kern; Edmonton, AB (Trinity Western University) – Left Side
Eric Loeppky; Steinbach, MB (Trinity Western University) – Left Side
Matthew Mawdsley; London, ON (University of Waterloo) – Middle
Fynn McCarthy; Lake Country, BC (Kelowna Volleyball Club) – Middle
Matthew Passalent; Hamilton, ON (McMaster University) – Right Side
Jordan Pereira; St. Catharines, ON (McMaster University) – Libero
Taryq Sani; Ajax, ON (University of Alberta) – Left Side
Sharone Vernon; Scarborough, ON (FTC – Team Canada) – Right Side
Max Vriend; Barrhead, AB (MacEwan University) – Middle

Staff:
Gino Brousseau; Quebec City, QC – Head Coach
Adam Simac; Ottawa/Toronto, ON – Assistant Coach
Francois St-Denis; Ottawa, ON – Assistant Coach
Daniel Cuzmar Grimalt; Quebec City, QC – Statistician
Jennifer Martins; Waterloo, ON. – Therapist

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