Gdansk, Poland, September 6, 2014 – It was another three-set win today, as Canada dashed Mexico’s chances of advancing to the second round of the FIVB Men’s World Championship. The final tally was 17-25, 18-25, 19-25 and more importantly Canada moves forward in this crucial tournament.
Like yesterday against the Egyptians, it was a decisive win, but from very different looking Canadian team, as head coach Glenn Hoag changed the lineup to give much-needed playing time to his roster of players.
“For us, we’ve had some injury problems all summer, so today we were able to put another group on the floor, but that group is also very talented, so it wasn’t a big difference,” said Hoag. “It’s an advantage in a way – it was beneficial today for us (to give this lineup playing time).”
Manitoban Toontje Van Lankvelt led Canada’s scoring effort with 16 points, followed by Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., with 12. “It was an important match for us to win,” said Lankvelt. “We just stayed really focused.”
For some, it was their first taste of game action at the Worlds. “It’s the biggest tournament that I’ve ever been a part of. It’s a dream come true,” said Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary. “I knew Mexico really well. I saw them down at the NORCECA Pan Am Cup a few weeks ago, and we knew they could play well. They were under a lot of pressure – they had to win to stay alive. And we knew we just had to play steady.”
Canadian blocking was also solid, with 12 stuff blocks.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to get up for every match, but I think the guys that played tonight did a good job of staying focused and playing throughout,” said captain Fred Winters, who was part of today’s lineup. “I sound like a broken record, but now we’re looking forward to the next day and playing China tomorrow. Hopefully we can finish the first round with another win to give us some big momentum for the second round.”
Mexico has not won a game here in Gdansk, but they fought hard last night to win their opening set against Russia, who currently leads Pool C.
“I think Mexico left a lot of their energy on the court last night. We came focused because we knew Mexico always comes to play; we play them often in our (NORCECA) zone. I think they maybe lacked a bit of energy today,” said Canada’s coach Hoag.
Mexico’s captain Mexico captain Carlos Guerra agreed: “After coming out with a lot of energy last night, we lost it completely tonight.”
This was Canada’s third win of the tournament. Canada’s only loss was the opener against Russia. Tomorrow, Canada plays China at 16:40 local time at the Ergo Arena.
The world’s best 24 teams are in Poland following a qualifying process, which started in 2012, involving a record number of 279 countries, and concluded in July 2014.
Sept. 05 Canada – Egypt (25-14, 25-19, 25-22)
Sept. 03 Canada-Bulgaria (17-25, 25-17, 20-25, 26-24, 15-8)
Sept. 01 Russia- Canada (25-21, 25-19, 25-21)
The full schedule and more at http://poland2014.fivb.org. Follow the timeline on twitter #FIVBMensWCH
In Canada and the U.S., matches are shown on the BeIN Sports channel or online at http://www.beinsportsconnect.tv/
Team Canada – 2014 World Men’s World Championship
# Name, Hometown
1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
18 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
3 Dan Lewis, Oakville, ON
7 Dallas Soonias, Red Deer, AB
6 Justin Duff, Winnipeg, MB
8 Adam Simac, Ottawa, ON
9 Dustin Schneider, Brandon, MB
10 Toontje Van Lankvelt, Rivers, MB
12 Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon, SK
15 Fred Winters, Victoria, BC
17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
2 Gord Perrin, Creston, BC
5 Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary, AB
22 Steve Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
Glenn Hoag, head coach
Vincent Pichette, assistant coach
Lawrence McKay, assistant coach
Jean-Sebastien Hartell (therapist)
Elvan Murat Haktanir, statistician
Julien Boucher, team manager
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