Canada Faces Tough Opponents at FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship

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Photo and reports by FIVB

Canada challenged by Italy and Russia at Worlds

Tijuana, Mexico, September 16, 2015 –  Canada came up short against Italy and Russia in its challenging pool at the FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship.

On Tuesday, Italy defeated Canada in four sets 39-37, 19-25, 19-25, 19-25 in a match that went on for more than two hours. The first set was the longest registered at the tournament with 76 points combined.

Sebastiano Milan guided the Italian team to the victory with 17 points, while Giacomo Rafaelli and Alberto Polo closed on with 13 apiece and captain Tiziano Mazzone recorded 10 units.

For Canada, Brandon Koppers scored 22 points, while Ryan Nickifor scored 19. Canada topped in blocks 12-10 and in serves 4-2, with two aces by Arthur Szwarc. 

Canada surrendered 40 points by errors, and Italy only 22. 

The following day, Russia won 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-11) with a 9-6 block advantage. Segei Prainien topped for Russia with 15 points while Dmitry Volkov scored 12.

Blake Scheerhorn was the best scorer for Canada after finishing with 14 points. He was followed by Brandon Koppers with 8 and Arthur Szwarc with 7.

Canada became the first squad to win a set against the Russians – before Wednesdaythey had won all their matches in straight sets.

“Against a very big physical team like Russia, you can’t afford to make errors,” Canada’s coach John Barrett told fivb.com.  “Especially at this age, the team that makes the fewest errors will win. … We played a good third set to win it, but once again we made too many errors.”

Canada now faces China on Thursday.

“I think we came into the game to fight for every point,” said team captain Ryan Nickifor. “Congratulations to Russia for the victory and now we have to prepare to play against China.”The competition features 16 teams and runs over eight days with two rest days. The teams are divided into four pools of four teams each and will play a round-robin tournament. The top two teams from each pool will then be split into two further pools of four (Pools E and F), with the bottom two teams from the first round also divided into two pools of four (Pools G and H).The top two teams from Pools E and F will qualify for the semifinals and finals, with the bottom two facing off in a playoff to be classified from fifth to eighth. The winners from Pools G and H will have a playoff for the ninth to 12th classification with the bottom two teams from the same pool moving onto a playoff for 13th to 16th.

Team roster:
1- Gabriel Chancy, Montréal, QC
2- Brandon Koppers, Georgetown, ON
4- Blake Scheerhoorn, Belleville, ON
5- Lucas Coleman, Brooklin, ON
6- Ryan Nickifor, Sherwood Park, AB
7- Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON
8- Andrew Richards, London, ON
9- Olivier Riopel, Gatineau, QC
10- Byron Keturakis, Surrey, BC
13- Arran Chambers, Edmonton, AB
14- Keith West, Lethbridge, AB
15- Joel Regehr, Courtenay, BC

Head Coach : John Barrett
Assistants : Brock Davidiuk and Vincenzo Mallia
Therapist : Kevin Montgomery
Manager: Dave McAllister

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