09/30/2012 10:08 EDT | Updated 11/30/2012 05:12 EST

Canada places 4th at under-23 Pan American Cup after loss to Dominican Republic

LANGLEY, B.C. - The Trinity Western men's volleyball team, representing Canada, was held off the podium at the under-23 Pan American Cup as it lost to the Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-15, 25-23 in the bronze medal match Sunday.

Brazil won the gold medal defeating Argentina 25-18 25-13, 25-17 in the final.

After beating the Dominicans in straight sets in the round robin, the Spartans were unable to duplicate the feat Sunday as they finished the tournament with three straight losses, a 2-3 record and a fourth place finish overall. The Dominicans finished the tournament with a 2-3 record and the bronze medal.

"It's really hard to beat a good volleyball team twice in a row and we saw that tonight," said Spartans coach Ben Josephson. "The first night (during the round robin) we got a win and probably surprised them, but over the last few days they watched us and prepared for us and cleaned up some of things we did well in the first match. Their service reception today was spectacular.

"We weren't able to get much going until the third game but credit to the Dominican Republic coaching staff and players on a good match."

The Spartans were led by Edmonton's Lucas Van Berkel, who had six kills and five blocks, Brad Kufske of Abbotsford, B.C., who had nine kills and Nick Del Bianco of Surrey, B.C., who had five kills and two blocks.

"The Dominican Republic played a great game today," said Spartans captain Jarrod Offereins. "They were much more prepared for us this time around. They executed well. They took it to us and we fell apart in different parts of different sets. Tonight it wasn't a good performance again. Two nights in a row, it's tough to take, but we'll learn from it and get ready to start the season."