Canadian men’s team heads to Europe


Louis Daignault (ISN)

August 23, 2013, GATINEAU, Que. (ISN) – Canada’s national men’s volleyball team leaves today for Europe for training and a series of matches in preparation for the North and Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) Continental Championships from September 23 to 28 in Langley, B.C.

It will be the first matches for Team Canada since its remarkable fifth place finish in the FIVB World League tournament earlier this summer. Canada went 9-3 in the tournament, which included a victory over Olympic champions Russia and climbed from 18th to 11th in the world rankings.

On the European tour, the Canadians will be in Slovenia for training, an exhibition match against Ural Ufa of the Russian Superleague on Sunday and an invitational tournament August 29-31. In that tournament Canada will face world number-nine Bulgaria which placed fourth in World League earlier this summer, on August 29, Denmark on August 30 and will conclude their tournament by playing the host team Slovenia on August 31.

Team Canada then heads to St-Nazaire, France for training and matches against the French national team (ranked 18th in the world, 10th in World League) on September 4 and September 6.

The NORCECA championships in Langley will offer valuable world ranking points, and the winner will qualify for the 2013 Grand Champions Cup to be held from November 19-24 in Japan.

Team Canada roster for the European Tour August 23- September 7, 2013

Players: Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man.; Josh Howatson, Victoria BC; T.J. Sanders, London, Ont.; Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon,SK; Dallas Soonias, Red Deer, Alta.; Blair Bann, Edmonton AB; Dan Lewis, Oakville, Ont.; Fred Winters, Victoria BC; Toon Van Lankvelt, River, Man.; Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, Que.; Steve Gotch, Okotoks, Alta.; Jason Derocco, East St. Paul, Man.; Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary, AB; Justin Duff, Winnipeg, MB; Adam Simac, Ottawa, Ont,; Graham Vigrass, Calgary AB.

Head coach: Glenn Hoag, Sherbrooke, Que.

Assistant coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau, Que.

Team manager: Julien Boucher, Quebec City

Physio therapist : Kristian Séguin, Gatineau, Que.

Statistician : Murat Haktanir, Izmir, Turkey.