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Canada captures first win at Olympic volleyball qualifier

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The Canadian Press
5/1/2012 6:27:37 PM
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TIJUANA, Mexico -- Canada's quest for an Olympic berth in women's volleyball is still alive.

Kyla Richey of Vancouver had 16 points Tuesday as Canada advanced to the quarter-finals of the Olympic qualifying tournament with a 25-9, 25-8, 25-10 win over Honduras.

The Canadians, looking for their first Olympic berth since 1996, concluded the round-robin portion with a win and two losses for third place in Group A.

No. 22-ranked Canada will face No. 27 Mexico in Wednesday's quarter-final.

Only the winner of the eight-country tournament earns a ticket to the 2012 London Games.

Tonya Mokelki of Weyburn, Sask., finished with 15 points, while Marisa Field of Vancouver had 14. The Canadians served a whopping 13 aces and out-blocked Honduras 10-2.

"We played our second line-up most of the game and they did a good job," said Canada's head coach Arnd Ludwig.

Setter Kelci French of Okotoks, Alta., made her debut with the national team and was pleased to be involved in Canada's first win of the tournament.

"There's a lot of excitement on the team right now and we are looking forward to our next match," she said. "It was a fortunate break today that we had chance to rest some of our top players and the way we played today really helped the team."

Top Canadian scorers Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., and Tammy Mahon of Holland, Man., both took the opportunity to rest before Wednesday's key match.

Volleyball (Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
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