Canada kicks off its FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup campaign

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Canada Begins World Cup Against Strong Italian Squad

Hiroshima, Japan, September 8, 2015 – Canada kicked off its FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Cup tournament with a 1-3 (19-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-13) loss to Italy today.

Ranked fourth in the world, the Italians came out strong in the first two sets. Canada (world ranked 14th) rebounded with a strong third set win, but couldn’t keep the momentum up to force a fifth.  “I think we came out a little bit tight in our touch, and then we started to smooth out and play a little better in the middle of the match,” said team Canada veteran libero Dan Lewis. “In the fourth, it felt better than the score shows, but we couldn’t transition. I think our sideout percentage fell really badly in the fourth. They’re one of the better teams in the world. We haven’t played Italy in years, but we see these guys in our pro leagues all the time, and we need to do a better job of slowing teams like this down.”Canada’s Gavin Schmitt (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Nicholas Hoag (Sherbrooke, Que.) each had 15 points; while Italy’s Ivan Zaytsev led all scoring with 20.

“I thought Italy played really well today, they were very stable,” said Canada’s captain Fred Winters. “I also thought we did pretty well in some areas – winning the third set gave us some momentum. Unfortunately, we started the fourth set down and with a team of the quality of Italy, you’re not going to come back.”

Canada suffered another loss – Graham Vigrass went down with an ankle injury in the first set and did not return to the match.

“This Italian team is one of the better teams that I’ve seen; we still have a lot of matches to confirm this, but the dynamic of the team is very good on the floor right now. I think they play very good volleyball,” said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag.  “As far as we are concerned, we actually received well today because Italy served well and put pressure on us, but we didn’t run a very good offense. We’re going to use this tournament to work on the things we need to improve to become a better team.”

Canada’s next match of the tournament is against Egypt at 3 pm local time onSeptember 09.

#1  TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2  Gordon Perrin, Creston, BC
#3  Dan Lewis, Oakville, ON
#5  Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary, AB
#6  Justin Duff, Winnipeg, MB
#9  Dustin Schneider, Brandon, MB
#10 Toon Van Lankvelt, Rivers, MB
#11 Daniel Jansen Vandoorn, Langley, BC
#12 Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon, SK
#15 Fred Winters, Victoria, BC
#17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
#18 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#19 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#22 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC

Glenn Hoag, head coach,
Vincent Pichette, assistant coach
Julien Boucher, team manager
Jean-Sebastien Hartell, athletic therapist
Murat Haktanir, statistician