Canada suffers a tough loss in Finland

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(ISN) – June 27, 2014, Tampere, Finland. – Although Canada kicked off its World League
campaign with two victories over Finland in Calgary, it was a different story today
in Tampere, as the Finns dominated to win 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 26-24).

“I think Finland played really well, and I think they did everything perfectly –
from serve to receive, execution on their offence; and on our side we executed
poorly, and there was a big lack of focus and patience,” explained Canada’s coach
Glenn Hoag. “Overall, they played much better than we did.”

It was a promising start, as opposite Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, Sask., helped
Canada to 6-8 lead early in the first set. However, Finland rebounded and didn’t
really look back.

Despite some bright and exciting moments in the close third set: “I think it was all
downhill from the turning point in the first set,” said Canada’s captain Fred
Winters of Victoria, B.C., after the disappointing loss at the Hakametsä Ice Hall.

Finland´s Olli-Pekka Ojansivu led his team with 16 points. Canada´s Schmitt got the
best points tally overall, 18.

Canada was without setter Dustin Schneider, left side Gord Perrin, and middle Rudy
Verhoeff, who is also heading home after sustaining an ankle injury earlier this
week in Finland.

Brought into the travelling team’s mix this week were Steve Marshall (Abbotsford,
BC) and Jay Blankenau (Sherwood Park, AB) who played today in his first World League
match ever.

Today’s result hurts Canada’s overall World League effort, as the team needs the
points to catch Belgium in order to win this pool. Belgium beat Australia today 1-3
in Adelaide and plays the Aussie Volleyroos again on Saturday.

Canada plays Finland again tomorrow (June 28) at the same venue in Tampere, where
the home crowd will be proudly looking for another strong performance from its team.

Said Finland’s coach, Tuomas Sammelvuo: “Overall, it was a big victory for us.”