Canada Earns Another Win at the Olympic Qualification Tournament
Tokyo, Japan, June 1, 2016 – Canada had its second win in a row at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament – a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 27-25) victory over Venezuela at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Gordon Perrin was Canada’s top scorer with 16 points, including 14 attacks and two blocks. Gavin Schmitt and Justin Duff contributed 12 and 11 points respectively, including two blocks each, to fortify the Canadian defense. Kervin Martin Pinerua contributed 12 points as Venezuela’s top scorer.
Venezuela, win-less so far at this tournament, fought hard to keep up with the Canadians, but couldn’t maintain any momentum. The South Americans had a bit of a run in the third set, until the more-composed Canada again took control.
“We knew Venezuela has some powerful attackers, and if they came up with some good defense, it was going to be difficult for us,” said Canada’s captain Rudy Verhoeff. “So I’m happy with the way that our team received and it made our game efficient. We didn’t get too much into a back and forth battle. I am also pleased with how our team defended – this is an area of our game that we need to improve as we go through the tournament and we made a stride at that today.”
This was Canada’s fourth match, and its second win. The first three matches went to a fifth (tie-break) set.
“We’re happy with the win, especially with the three points, and also not playing five sets because the group is pretty tired after Australia (yesterday),” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “The good thing today was bench players coming in to play, such as Steve Marshall and Rudy Verhoeff, to work the end and it really helped to give us some oxygen. We also had a great performance by Gord Perrin, who is also tired, but was solid for us.”
He continued: “These were very two important matches for us – we knew these two games (Australia and Venezuela) were must-wins. Now we need to look forward to the last three matches.”
Verhoeff spoke about the importance of rest in this week-long tournament: “We’re grateful for finishing in three sets. As the tournament goes on, being able to recover and rest is becoming very important. Even today toward the end, I think the guys were getting tired. We have to focus on getting some recovery and sleep for our next match tomorrow.”
Canada plays France tomorrow at 10:10 local time.
The WOQT is a round robin tournament: eight teams are competing in 28 games, with each country playing seven matches in as many days. The top-ranked Asian team and the top three ranked teams, four in total, will qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games