Varna, Bulgaria: A promising start for Canada’s men’s team ended with at 1-3 (25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 23-25) loss against Brazil today in the second week of FIVB World League action.
Canada started strong and the first set was a back and forth point exchange, with Canada taking the set by two points after an ace by Dan Jansen Vandoorn closed the deal. But Brazil, world number-one ranked and 2016 Olympic gold medalists, didn’t let Canada control the outcome.
“Two sets were really, really close; we could have won,” said Canada’s coach Stephane Antiga, who admitted earlier that this weekend would be tough for the Canadians with matches against Brazil, Poland and home-crowd favourite, Bulgaria. “They (Brazil) have experience, and they played better and they had some very good serves. I am disappointed with a few actions that we could have managed better.”
Team captain and 2016 Olympian Gord Perrin led Canada with 20 points. “We fought hard against a strong team that is not easy to play against. So I want to give a lot of credit to my teammates and I cannot wait to come back here tomorrow (against Bulgaria),” said Perrin.
Brazilian opposite Renan Buiatti, who is over seven feet tall, and Lucas Saatkamp were top producers for the South Americans with 19 and 17 points respectively.
“Our game wasn’t brilliant, but in the end it’s important to win,” admitted Brazil’s captain and setter Bruno Rezende. “In the next two matches (this weekend) we have to try to improve to play at a better level than today.”
Canada plays Bulgaria, which will be aired online at 1:40 EDT in Canada. Canada is now at two wins and two losses in its World League Group 1 debut.
Athletes (travelling roster):
TJ Sanders – Setter (London, ON)
Brett Walsh – Setter (Calgary, AB)
Blair Bann – Libero (Edmonton, AB)
Steve Marshall – Libero (Abbotsford, BC)
Graham Vigrass – Middle (Calgary, AB)
Lucas Van Berkel – Middle (Edmonton, AB)
Arthur Szwarc – Middle (Toronto, ON)
Daniel Jansen VanDoorn – Middle (Langley, BC)
Jason DeRocco – Left Side (Winnipeg, MB)
Gord Perrin – Left Side (Creston, BC)
Stephen Maar – Left Side (Aurora, ON)
Ryley Barnes – Left Side (Edmonton, AB)
Sharone Vernon-Evans – Opposite (Scarborough, ON)
Nick Hoag – Sherbrooke, QC
Stephane Antiga, head coach
Daniel Lewis, assistant coach
Georges Laplante, assistant coach
Lionel Bonnaure, statistician
Jean-Sebastien Hartell, therapist
Julien Boucher, team manager