Early Lead Gives Belgium the Edge Over Canada in Grand Prix

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(ISN) – Leuven, Belgium, August 1, 2014 – Belgium sealed its second victory in as many weeks
over Canada on Friday winning in straight sets (25-17, 25-20, 25-19) as the FIVB
Volleyball World Grand Prix rolled into Leuven, Belgium.

It was only the second time the two teams have met in an international tournament.
Canada has yet to win a set against the Belgians, but the Canadian squad is learning
a lot from each Grand Prix match.

“We had a very bad start in the first set, but a better start in the second and the
third set,” said Canada’s coach, Arnd Ludwig. “Our quality improved and we played
better than last week against the Belgians. For us, it is the first appearance with
this team on an international level, while the Belgians had a bronze medal at the
European Championships, and they have a very good team.”

This was Belgium’s third win in a row in this year’s tournament. Lise Van Hecke
topped the scoring with 23 for the hosts including two aces and three blocks

Belgium had a convincing start with 10 points in a row off the service of Frauke
Dirickx. Even a Canadian time out couldn’t hold the Belgians back as they reached
11-1. Changes to the Canadian line-up, an improved block and some individual Belgian
faults helped bring the visitors back into the match at 11-6. But the power of Van
Hecke, the blocks and attacks of Laura Heyrman and the clear view of captain
Charlotte Leys allowed Belgium to push on and win the set.

The start of the second set was a different story, however, as Belgium committed
fault after fault to gift the Canadians a 8-2 lead. But the home side clawed its way
back for the win.

It was a fairly even battle in the opening stages of the third, with each side going
toe-to-toe to reach 9-9. A focus on its blocking game saw Belgium shift ahead and
seal up the victory.

Captain Brittney Page of Vernon, BC, was Canada’s top contributor with 14 points.

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