Volleyball Canada – Jackie Skender
After a successful season-opening weekend – beating Cuba twice in Calgary, and then winning gold at the NORCECA Champions Cup in Detroit – the Canadian Men’s Volleyball Team (roster below) is already in Bulgaria ready to take on its next FIVB World League opponent.
“The team worked well together, considering many players were coming directly from their professional teams to Calgary and then Detroit,” said Canada’s Head Coach Glenn Hoag. “But it is a long and packed season, so we’ve just begun. The Bulgarians are strong competitors and we look forward to the test.”
After finishing fourth in the 2013 World League tournament, Bulgaria failed to progress beyond the intercontinental round last year after just one win in 12 matches put the team in the bottom of Group 1 Pool B behind USA, Russia and Serbia. They followed that up with a joint 13th-place finish at the World Championship where they qualified for the second round before taking just one set in their four matches.
Canada also did not progress beyond the preliminary round last year, after finishing fifth in World League in 2013. However, the Canadians had a best-ever seventh-place finish at the World Championship last year, and they met Bulgaria in Round 1 of the Worlds, coming up on the winning side of that five-set contest.
Canada is coming off the World Cup qualifier with some confidence, after beating last year’s World League champs, the U.S., in a five-set nail-biter.
The 26th staging of the FIVB World League includes 32 teams – four more than in 2014 – doing battle for the title in this prestigious annual tournament, which this year spans a record 10 weeks.
The matches this weekend (May 30 and 31) will be televised on Sportsnet ONE in Canada, check your local listings or see our web site http://www.volleyball.ca/node/3786
Canada has two upcoming World League weekends at home as follows:
Canada vs. Argentina
Scotiabank Centre, Halifax, NS
June 5th at 8 pm
June 6th at 6.30 pm
Canada vs. Bulgaria
Credit Union Place, Summerside, PEI
June 12th at 8 pm
June 13th at 8 pm
Roster (Canada in Bulgaria)
Josh Howatson, Setter, Victoria, BC
TJ Sanders, Setter, London, ON
Blair Bann, Libero, Edmonton, AB
Gavin Schmitt, Opposite, Saskatoon, SK
Casey Schouten, Opposite, Winnipeg, MB
Frederic Winters, Leftside, Victoria, BC
Steven Marshall, Leftside, Abbotsford, BC
Jason DeRocco, Leftside, East St. Paul, MB
Gord Perrin, Leftside, Creston, BC
Toon Van Lankvelt, Leftside, Rivers, MB
Lucas Van Berkel, Middle, Edmonton, AB
Justin Duff, Middle, Winnipeg, MB
Graham Vigrass, Middle, Calgary, AB
Rudy Verhoeff, Middle, Calgary, AB
Glenn Hoag, head coach
Vincent Pichette, assistant coach
Larry McKay, assistant coach
Jean Sebastien Hartell, therapist
Murat Haktanir, stats
Julien Boucher, team manager