Volleyball Canada has announced its women’s roster for the 2018 NORCECA Women’s Nations League Challenge Cup, which is the first step in the qualifying process for the new FIVB Nations League.
Canada will host the tournament in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from May 17th-20th.
Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, the top 6 available teams by NORCECA rankings as of January 1, 2018, will play in two round-robin pools of 3 teams each. The winner of each group will play a single-elimination championship match. The runners-up in each group will play a match for a bronze medal, and the 3rd-place team in each group will play for 5th place.
Points will be assigned uniquely from a normal tournament, where a 3-0 win earns 5 points, a 3-1 win earns 4 points, a 3-2 win earns 3 points, a 2-3 loss earns 2 points, and a 1-3 loss earns 1 point.
The winner becomes NORCECA’s representative to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Challenger Cup. The winner of that FIVB tournament plays the last-ranked challenger team (Argentina, Belgium, Dominican Republic, and Poland) in the Nations League, with the winner earning a spot in next year’s tournament. Other NORCECA members USA (core team) and Dominican Republic (challenger team) are already playing in this year’s Nations League tournament.
Among the interesting names on the roster are recent collegiate graduates who are making their first senior national team appearance. Four-time AVCA All-American outside hitter Autumn Bailey, who played at Michigan State, is included in the roster. So too is Florida outside Shainah Joseph, who represented Canada at the last three Pan American Cups, including scoring 25 points to lead all players in Canada’s first classification match at last year’s tournament.
Most of the players from last year’s Pan Am Cup roster are returning. The exceptions are middle blocker Lucielle Charuk, outside hitter Michaela Reesor, and middle blocker Marisa Field, who are replaced by Bailey, Alexa Gray, and Alicia Ogoms on this year’s roster.
Women’s Challenge Cup Roster
- Autumn Bailey of Burlington, ON
- Brianna Beamish of Surrey, BC
- Marie-Alex Bélanger of Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, QC
- Alissa Coulter of Calgary, AB
- Jennifer Cross of Scarborough, ON
- Megan Cyr of St. Andrews, MB
- Alexa Gray of Calgary, AB
- Shainah Joseph of Ottawa, ON
- Kristen Moncks of Standard, AB
- Jessica Niles of Turner Valley, AB
- Alicia Ogoms of Winnipeg, MB
- Alicia Perrin of Creston, BC
- Kyla Richey of Roberts Creek, BC
- Danielle Smith of Beaverlodge AB
The Canadian men will also play a pair of matches this weekend in Edmonton: friendlies against the Mexican National Team. That roster will be most of the A-team roster that Canada used in last year’s World League where they placed a historic 3rd (though that still wasn’t enough for them to be inserted as a ‘core nation’ for this year’s Nations League). The most glaring exception is high-flying teenager Sharone Vernon-Evans, who underwent surgery in March on a broken left tibia.
Men’s Roster (vs Mexico in Edmonton)
- Jay Blankenau of Sherwood Park, AB
- Byron Keturakis of Surrey, BC
- Brandon Koppers of Georgetown, ON
- Eric Loeppky of Steinbach, MB
- Blake Scheerhoorn of Belleville, ON
- Ryley Barnes of Edmonton, AB
- Alexander Duncan-Thibault of Toronto, ON
- Fynnian McCarthy of Lake Country, BC
- Max Burt of Gander, NL
- Pearce Eshenko of Banff, AB
- Danny Demyanenko of Toronto, ON
- Justin Duff of Winnipeg, MB
- Jeremy Davies of Calgary, AB
- Logan Brennan of Bragg Creek, AB