Louis Daignault (ISN)
July 23, 2013, LAUSANNE, Switzerland (ISN) – The Canadian men’s national volleyball team’s exceptional performance in the 2013 FIVB World League has resulted in a seven place gain in the FIVB World Rankings, moving the team up to No. 11 from No. 18.
Canada, whose previous best finish in the World League was seventh in 1992, pulled off one of the biggest wins in its history by beating 2013 FIVB World League champions and world No. 2 Russia for the first time ever in a five set thriller on July 19.
In World League play the Canadians won a record nine matches finishing 9-3 overall. Its previous best was six wins in 1992. After a 2-2 start to the 2013 campaign, Canada strung together seven straight wins before falling to Brazil in its final match.
Canada also joins South Korea (2008) as the only team in the last 15 years to come back from two sets down to beat Russia in the World League.
“We showed we can play on the big stage in the world and beat great teams in the future,” Saskatoon’s Gavin Schmitt said in a press conference after their 3-0 loss to Brazil, which gave the Canadians a fifth place finish in the 2013 World League.
While Russia recovered from the loss to win this year’s World League, the team is still ranked No. 2 in the world after Brazil – despite defeating Brazil in straight sets in the championship match.
Like Russia, the top five teams in the world did not see their FIVB World Rankings change. Brazil remains No. 1, followed by Russia, Italy, Poland and the USA. Cuba, however, ties the USA in No. 5.
No. 7, Serbia kept their ranking, while Argentina swaps places with Bulgaria to advance to No. 8. Germany wraps up the top 10.