Louis Daignault (ISN)
June 14, 2013, Mississauga, Ontario, (ISN) – Canada’s men’s volleyball team produced its most impressive performance in World League play with a decisive 25-19, 25-10, 25-18 victory over South Korea on Friday night at the Hershey Centre.
With the win Canada improves to 3-2 in tournament play and rejoins the Netherlands and Finland in first place in Group C with nine points. Only the top-team in the group advances to next month’s World Leaue final tournament.
“We are getting more consistent, and have more discipline in the defense,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “(Libero) Dan Lewis made some key digs for us, and Dallas Soonias did a good job replacing Gavin (Schmitt). I expect the South Koreans to be better tomorrow.”
Canada overpowered the smaller Koreans, and their block defense combination was perfectly synchronized.
South Korea started set one with some promise, but Canada regained its composure and confidence quickly to win by six points. Dallas Soonias (Red Deer, Alta.) and captain Fred Winters (Victoria, B.C.) contributed five points each in this set.
Canada’s confidence continued into the second set as they made quick work of the Koreans with late-set substitution Nick Hoag, son of coach Glenn Hoag, finishing South Korea off with the game-winning point.
The third set was a closer competition at first, but still Canada managed to finish the game off in three.
Lewis didn’t want to over-analyze his play, saying he had a little luck tonight and shouldn’t underestimate the Koreans.
“It gets a little frustrating when they once and a while run old-school plays that you see in high school that usually aren’t seen anymore,” said Lewis, from nearby Oakville, Ontario. “I think they will be a lot tougher tomorrow.”
Captain Fred Winters of Victoria, B.C. had a 14-point match, leading Canada in scoring. “It was a good game, we played well. It was a team effort, but now it’s already past us and we have to think about tomorrow.”
Kwang-In Jeon led Korea’s scoring with 17.
“We were technically weak, especially in our serving. We weren’t ready and we are looking forward to the next game,” said Korea’s coach Ki-Won Park.
The two teams play again Saturday night at 7 pm (Eastern) at the Hershey Centre. Canada then heads overseas to conclude its elimination round with two matches in Finland and two more in Japan.
The first weekend of World League competition for the Canadians took place May 31 to June 1 at the Colisée Pepsi, Québec City, versus Netherlands with Canada winning the first match (25-22, 22-25, 27-25, 27-25) and the Netherlands winning the second match (25-22, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23). The second weekend was in Mississauga at the Hershey Centre June 7 and 8 against Portugal with Canada once again splitting the matches, winning (25-19 25-19 25-18) on June 7 and losing (19-25, 25-20, 18-25, 23-25) on June 8.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster for tomorrow’s game.