Canada suffers first loss at U21 worlds


Louis Daignault (ISN)

August 25, 2013, IZMIR, Turkey (ISN) – Canada suffered its first loss at the 20-country FIVB U21 World Championships in men’s volleyball Sunday falling to Serbia 23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-19.

With the victory the Serbians move into first place in Group C with a perfect 3-0 mark, followed by Canada at 2-1, Tunisia at 2-2, the U.S. at 1-2 and Rwanda at 0-3. Tunisia defeated the U.S. in four sets Sunday.

“First set we played Canadian volleyball,” said Canada’s team captain Milan Nikic of Calgary. “I think we did a good job on serving and putting pressure upon them. However after that, we made too many mistakes. We can’t do that against Serbia.”

Brad Gunter of Courtenay, B.C., Stephen Maar of Aurora, Ont., and Ryley Barnes of St.Paul, Man., led Canada with 11 points each while Danny Demyanenko of Toronto added 10.

Canada, which has clinched a spot in the round of 16 playoffs, closes out its round robin Monday against the Americans.

Canadian senior team in Europe

Twenty hours after arriving overseas, Canada’s national men’s senior team swept Ural Ufa of the Russian Super League in a four set exhibition in Maribor, Slovenia 25-21, 25-23, 25-20, 25-17.

The Canadians are in Europe for the next two weeks for training and matches in preparation for the North and Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) Continental Championships from September 23 to 28 in Langley, B.C.

Steve Gotch of Okotoks, Alta., led the Canadian attack with 12 points including six aces while Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon added 11 and Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., nine.

“I’m happy with tonight’s performance,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “The confidence we gained throughout the World League is already showing here. Our young upcoming players also showed good things.”

Canada placed a best-ever fifth in the World League tournament last month to climb from 18th to 11th in the world rankings.

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