EDMONTON — Canada’s men’s volleyball team will have home-court advantage in its quest for a spot in the Rio Olympics.
Edmonton is hosting the NORCECA Continental Olympic qualifying tournament this weekend at the Saville Community Sport Centre. The winner will move on to this summer’s Rio Olympics.
Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico have earned spots in the qualifier. Canada, No. 10 on the FIVB world rankings, won the pre-qualification event in Mexico in October. Cuba is ranked 15th, Puerto Rico is 22nd and Mexico is 24th.
Out of the NORCECA — North, Central America and Caribbean — countries, only the U.S. has qualified for Rio as winners of the 2015 World Cup.
Here’s the match schedule:
Friday, January 8
5 p.m. – Canada vs Mexico
7 p.m. – Cuba vs Puerto Rico
Saturday, January 9
1.30 p.m. – Canada vs Puerto Rico
4 p.m. – Cuba vs Mexico
Sunday, January 10
5 p.m. – Puerto Rico vs Mexico
7 p.m. – Canada vs Cuba
Tickets for each game are available on Ticketmaster, and for adults range from $20 to $30. Adult three day passes are $80, $95 or $110.
Four members of Team Canada are from Alberta, including Edmonton’s Blair Bann. Here’s the full team roster, including each member’s hometown and position:
TJ Sanders, London, ON, setterDustin Schneider, Brandon, MB, setterDaniel Lewis, Oakville, ON, liberoBlair Bann, Edmonton, AB, liberoRudy Verhoeff, Calgary, AB, middleGraham Vigrass, Calgary, AB, middleDaniel Jansen Van Doorn, Langley, BC, middleJustin Duff, Winnipeg, MB, middleMax Burt, Gander, NFLD, middleFred Winters, Victoria, BC, leftsideNicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC leftsideGordon Perrin, Creston, BC, leftsideToon Van Lankvelt, Rivers, MB leftsideSteve Marshall, Langley, BC, leftsideDallas Soonias, Red Deer, AB, opposite
Saville Sports Centre, University of Alberta. Supplied, Centaur Products
Saville Sports Centre, University of Alberta.
Supplied, Centaur Products
All of the games will be streamed online, and Saturday’s match between Canada and Puerto Rico will be broadcast on CBC.
“We are eager to again showcase international volleyball on home soil, and most importantly our goal is to secure a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games for the first time since 1992,” Canadian men’s coach Glenn Hoag said in a statement.
Edmonton hosted a World Cup warmup event earlier this year that saw Canada face Brazil in two friendlies.
WATCH: Family connection on Brazil volleyball team
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was first published in November, and updated with tournament details on January 7, 2016.
With files from Karen Bartko, Global News