Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ludwig names v-ball nats

Cordonier relishes huge opportunity

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For Liz Cordonier, being named to Canada's national women's volleyball squad on Monday was only about the team.

The Canadians completed a four-match exhibition series against Argentina's national team Monday afternoon in Brandon with numerous lineup changes in place so Team Canada head coach Arnd Ludwig could finish final player evaluations. After a straight-sets loss to Argentina of 27-25, 25-22, 25-23, Cordonier was among the 11 players Ludwig named to represent Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Cup in Cuidad Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico, which will be played Wednesday through July 10.

Ludwig was planning to take another day to decide the libero position -- he will bring either Janie Guimond or Claire Hanna to Mexico.

"I'm thrilled to be part of this team and to have the opportunity to play with such a great group," said Cordonier, who left beach volleyball to return to the indoor game. "The last time I played with Team Canada, before this series, was in 2008, so to be part of this group of 12 is so exciting."

It's the qualification year for the 2012 Olympics, so the group departing on Wednesday for the Pan Am Cup has a chance to showcase their skills for Ludwig and get started on Canada's team-building process.

"This (Pan Am Cup) is the first step down the road to qualification and it's a chance for us to showcase our team and the fact that we're not underdogs anymore. We expect to win and we're playing to win," Cordonier said.

The team is missing veterans Tiffany Dodds, Tonya Mokelki, Jennifer Hinze and Julie Young due to injuries and other committments, which has opened the door for players like Lucy Charuk and Marie-Pier Murray Methot.

"Overall in the (Argentina) series, we played very disciplined and did not make a lot of errors," Ludwig said. "We did a lot of things well defensively but I thought we could be a little smarter in our attack and side out. We will work toward that."

Ludwig used a different lineup in all four of the matches (the teams split 2-2) to create a variety of situations for the Team Canada players.

In Monday's action, right-side Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., led Canada with 11 kills, with middle Nadine Alphonse adding six kills and five blocks.

The Pan Am Cup tournament includes top-ranked teams from the Caribbean and the North and Central American zone (NORCECA) and South America. The top three NORCECA finishers and the top South American team will qualify for the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix tournament.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Meet Canada's team

Roster for 2011 Pan Am Cup in Cuidad Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico,

June 29 - July 10, 2011

Setters: Lauren O'Reilly, Carla Bradstock

Outside hitters: Tammy Mahon, Sarah Pavan, Brittney Page, Kyla Richey, Elizabeth Cordonier, Marie-Pier Murray-Methot

Middles: Nadine Alphonse, Tasha Holness, Lucy Charuk

Libero: Janie Guimond or Claire Hanna

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2011 C5

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