(ISN) – June 11, 2014 – With only one loss each so far for both Canada and Belgium, this
weekend’s 2014 FIVB World League volleyball matches at the UBC’s Doug Mitchell
Sports Centre will be intense for both teams.
“After a challenging weekend in Belgium, we still managed to come away with two
points from the win on Friday, but were obviously disappointed by Sunday’s loss.
The teams in our pool are all tough competitors and the games this weekend promise
to be very fast-paced again,” said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag.
Although both Canada and Belgium are 3-1, the visitors have 10 points going in to
this weekend, while Canada has seven, as a the five-set wins count for one less
point each. Finland has four points, and Australia, who faces Canada for the first
time in Edmonton, June 20 and 21, has three points on the charts.
Belgium’s coach Dominique Baeyens pointed to the matches against Canada in Vancouver
as critical to his team’s Pool C chances after his team won 3-1 (33-31, 25-12,
21-25, 25-23) on Sunday in Antwerp. “That we won is important. So we know that we
are still in the position to win this pool. We already have a big difference with
Australia and Finland, so next week can be important in Vancouver to know how far we
can go in this FIVB World League.”
Canada (ranked 11th in the world) won the first contest with Belgium, on Friday in
Liege, in a roller-coaster five sets (25-22, 21-25, 17-25, 25-20, 14-16).
Previously in Calgary, Canada won both matches in the opening weekend against
Finland. Belgium, ranked 37th, now sits on top of Pool C in the point standings.
Canada’s team features two British Columbia natives, captain Fred Winters of
Victoria, and Gord Perrin, originally from Creston, B.C. Trinity Western University
grad Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary, is also in Vancouver ready to play this weekend.
“There is always a little added excitement in playing at home but the team is so
focused on recapturing first place in our pool that it’s all business this week,”
said Winters, who spent his pro season in China. “Playing at home gives friends and
family a chance to see what we do year round in person and for that reason it’s
always a great time.”
Coach Hoag is looking forward to playing in front of a supportive crowd in
Vancouver. “We are challenging BC fans to be even louder than the enthusiastic
support we received in Calgary during our games against Finland. This is a rare
opportunity for Canadian fans to witness high-quality volleyball on home soil.”