Canada in the hunt for top spot


Louis Daignault (ISN)

June 26, 2013, Ottawa, ON (ISN) – Canada is in second place just one point behind the Netherlands in Group C in men’s World League volleyball going into this weekend’s play. In the group, Portugal and the Netherlands split their past weekend matches while the other four teams were idle.


Netherlands stands first with four wins and two losses for 13 points. Canada is also 4-2 with 12 points. The one point difference is because Netherlands lost one of its matches in five sets which is worth a point. Finland is third with nine points followed by Portugal and South Korea with seven and Japan with six.

Only the top team in Group C, which is the wild card group, advances to the World League final next month in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Canada rounds out its preliminary schedule overseas on June 28-29 (Friday, Saturday) in Finland and July 6-7 in Japan. The Canadians played their first six matches at home splitting series with the Netherlands May 31 and June 1 in Quebec City and Portugal June 7-8 in Mississauga before sweeping the South Koreans June 14-15, again at the Hershey Centre.

Canada’s top players so far include Adam Simac of Ottawa who ranks third in league blocking with an average of 0.95 per set, Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., is 10th in digs, Fred Winters of Victoria is 12th in receiving and Dustin Schneider ranks 13th in passing. Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., is Canada’s top scorer with 73 points.

In the other two Groups, the top-three as well as host Argentina advance to the final. Brazil and Bulgaria are tied for first in Group A with 11 points, with the U.S., third at eight while France has six, and Argentina and defending champion Poland only three. The Poles are 0-4 with three losses in five sets.

In Group B, Italy is first with 15 points, the Russians follow at 13 Serbia has 10, Germany seven, Iran three and Cuba is stunningly 0-6 with no points.

Sportsnet will broadcast all four upcoming Canadian matches including the first two live from Tampere. Here is the schedule:

Canada vs. Finland

Friday, June 28 @ 11:30 a.m. EST

Live on Sportsnet One; Tape delayed on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific (National) @ 2 p.m.; Encore on Sportsnet One @ 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 29 @ 11:30 a.m. EST

Live on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific (National); Tape delayed on Sportsnet One @ 5 p.m.

Canada vs. Japan

Saturday, July 6 @ 01 a.m. EST

Tape delayed on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific (National) @ 10:00 a.m.; Tape delayed on Sportsnet One @ 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 7 @ 01 a.m. EST

Tape delayed on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific (National) @ 10 a.m.; Tape delayed on Sportsnet One @ 9 p.m.

Canada’s World League roster for matches June 28-29 in Tampere, Finland and July 6-7 in Osaka, Japan.

Players: Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man.; Josh Howatson, Victoria; Louis-Pierre Mainville, Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile Perrot, Que.; Dallas Soonias, Red Deer, Alta.; Blair Bann, Edmonton; Fred Winters, Victoria; Gord Perrin, Creston, B.C.; Toon Van Lankvelt, River, Man.; Dan Lewis, Oakville, Ont.; Jason Derocco, East St. Paul, Man.; Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary; Justin Duff, Winnipeg; Adam Simac, Ottawa; Graham Vigrass, Calgary.

Head coach: Glenn Hoag, Gatineau, Que.

Assistant coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau, Que.

Team manager : Julien Boucher, Quebec City

Statistician : Murat Haktanir

Therapist: Mathieu Séguin and