Canada Comes Out on Top Against Cuba in Opener of Round Two

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Sept 10, 2014 (ISN) – FIVB Men’s World Championship: Canada Comes Out on Top Against Cuba in Opener of
Round Two

Wroclaw, Poland, September 10, 2014 – Canada came out on the winning side of a
five-setter (25-27, 25-18, 23-25, 25-11, 15-13) in both teams’ opening match of Pool
F play at Centennial Hall in Wroclaw on Wednesday night.

The Canadians, who have now won five in a row, raised their point-total to seven,
while Cuba’s slightly increased to two for the second round.

Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta. and Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., topped
Canada’s scoring with 17 and 16 points, respectively, while BC natives Gord Perrin
and Fred Winters contributed 13 and 10 points. Cuba’s Rolando Cepeda had a solid 17,
followed by Javier Jimenez with 14. Osmany Uriarte (13) and Isbel Mesa (10) also
reached double digits.

“We play Cuba pretty much every summer, so we knew what they were capable of,” said
Nic Hoag, who is the son of head coach Glenn Hoag. “They are very energetic, and
they don’t really have anything to lose because they are so young and they just play
hard. We weren’t surprised, but we weren’t ready to be so aggressive, especially in
the first set. … I think we focused back after the second and we got back into the
game.”

It was a see-saw battle, but the more-experienced Canadian squad finally prevailed.
Canada’s coach, Glenn Hoag, fine-tuned the lineup throughout, at one point bringing
in Gavin Schmitt (Saskatoon, SK) in the fourth set, which seemed to change the
momentum of the match.

“I’m happy with the win, obviously,” said coach Hoag. “We didn’t play as well as I
thought we would do. We were a bit undisciplined, and made a lot of attack errors,
especially in the third set. Cuba has improved a lot, and I think they are going to
play some good matches to come. For us, we now have to get some rest as soon as
possible because we have the early match against Finland tomorrow.”

Finland is a familiar opponent for Canada, having played each other this year in
World League, and also in pre-Worlds training matches. Action gets underway 16:40
local time in Poland.

Previous Games (Round One):

Sept. 07 Canada- China (26-24, 27-25, 25-17)
Sept. 06 Mexico-Canada (17-25, 18-25, 19-25)
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)

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