Canada Beats Portugal to Wrap Up Weekend World League Play
Saskatoon, Canada, June 26, 2016 – Canada continued its winning ways today in FIVB World League play, downing Portugal in four sets: 24-26, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21.
Toon Van Lankvelt topped Canada’s effort with 16 points, followed by Nick Hoag with 11. Alex Ferreira of Portugal topped all scorers with 21.
“I am really happy with the win. The third match of the weekend is always the toughest. Especially for guys like (setter) TJ Sanders who is always in. He stayed focused with new guys coming in,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “It’s kind of nice to see the team able to sustain a certain level. We can play better, but we’re training hard right now pushing for Rio so the guys are not 100-percent physically…. Every play is a step toward Rio.”
The match began with play bouncing back and forth evenly. Portugal had trouble with serves going long and into the net early, a theme that continued throughout the match, but they began moving their feet well at the net to stifle Canada’s attacks. Both sides struggled to put together consecutive points. Canada battled back to tie the set at 24, only to lose on a mishandled serve. Portugal took the first set 26-24.
Canada blocked much better in the 2nd set earning a three-point lead half way through, the match’s largest gap at that point. Their defensive consistency extended their lead to six points. Portugal was irate with two calls during the set, and earned a yellow and then three subsequent red cards. Canada stayed calm and put away their opportunities taking the set 25-15.
Another red card came off the first point for Portugal, but they seemed to regain their composure as they kept pace with Canada mid-way through the set. Serving still seemed to be an issue with several players continuing to send their serves long and wide. Canada came out on top 25-23.
Several rallies with incredible digs by the Portuguese went to waste as the Canada attack was too much. Canada began to pull away near the end of the fourth set, wearing down the Portuguese defense. Ultimately, the Canadians finished off their opponents with another World League victory, sending them into their next dates in Finland with some momentum.
Canada won all three of its home matches this weekend. Saskatoon was the only Canadian tournament stop for the team before the Rio 2016 Olympics.
June 24, 2016
5.35pm – China vs. Portugal 3-1
8:05pm – Canada vs. Korea 3-0
June 25, 2016
1:30pm – Canada vs. China 3-0
4:00pm – Korea vs. Portugal 0-3
June 26, 2016
3:35pm – Korea vs. China 1-3
6:05pm – Canada vs. Portugal 3-1
Canadian Roster for Saskatoon:
#1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2 Gordon Perrin, Creston, BC
#3 Dan Lewis, Oakville, ON
#4 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC|
#5 Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary, AB
#6 Justin Duff, Winnipeg, MB
#8 Adam Simac, Ottawa, ON
#10 Toon Van Lankvelt, Rivers, MB
#11 Daniel Jansen Van Doorn, Langley, BC
#12 Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon, SK
#15 Fred Winters, Victoria, BC
#19 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#21 Jay Blankenau, Sherwood Park, AB
#22 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
Julien Boucher – Team Manager
Glenn Hoag – Head Coach
Larry McKay – Asst. Coach
Vincent Pichette – Asst. Coach
Murat Haktanir – Statistician
Jean-Sebastien Hartell – Therapist