Volleyball Canada – Jackie Skender 

Botevgrad, Bulgaria – After losing the first two sets, Bulgaria clawed its way back to beat Canada 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-14, 15-9) on Sunday in the teams’ second meeting of FIVB World League pool play.

Early on, it was reminiscent of yesterday’s Canadian victory – with Canada getting off to a good start, and winning the first two sets. And as they did on Saturday, Bulgaria came out fighting in the third, winning a tight contest. The Bulgarian team then stormed ahead in the fourth, shaking Canada’s calmness and sending the match into a fifth set with a decisive 25-14 score.

Bulgaria then ran away with tie-breaking set. The Bulgarians came out very organized, putting Canada down 5-0, and they never looked back. Vladimir Nikolov and Todor Aleksiev contributed 25 points each to Bulgaria’s brilliant comeback effort.

Gavin Schmitt was top scorer for the Canadians with 17; and Gord Perrin added 15.

Today’s match ends Canada’s winning streak, after a couple of World League straight-set victories over Cuba two weeks ago in Calgary, then a successful tournament in Detroit to win a gold and qualify for the World Cup, and yesterday’s win in Bulgaria. Canada must now re-group to face Argentina in Halifax as FIVB World League continues back at home, June 5 and 6.

Canada still leads Pool C of Group 2 in World League with 10 points so far.