In front of an enthusiastic crowd today, Canada’s junior team persevered to a 3-2 (25-22, 13-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12) victory over the Czech Republic in their FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship opener.
Fynn McCarthy was a big factor, with six of the team’s 14 kill blocks. Czech player Donovan Dzavoronok was the best scorer of the match with 22 points, followed by teammate Matej Smidl with 19 and Canada’s Eric Loeppky with 18.
“It’s was an emotional match at the beginning as both teams were nervous,” said Gino Brousseau, Canada’s junior team head coach. “We had a good start and in the second and third sets we missed too many serves and also made easy mistakes. Also, they made some good subs and their subs did well. In the fourth, we started to play better and make them play, and they started to make mistakes and then we played ‘free’ until the end.”
The first set was very competitive: Despite seven points from Donovan Dzavoronok, Canada’s solid blocking brought them to a 25-22 set win. With sub-in opposite Matej Smidl taking control and the Czech blockers also starting to contribute points, the home side dominated the second set to tie the match after 25-13.
A late effort in set three helped Canada narrow the host’s wide lead down to only a point before finally losing by 23-25. However, the momentum helped Canada regain control in the fourth set. Adding some good serving into the mix, the Canadians took a 25-18 win to prompt a tie-breaker and went on to dominate in the fifth set as well. The 15-12 final score was fixed with a powerful spike by Taryq Sani.
Canada’s next match is against Morocco at 12:20 pm local time on June 24.
With reports from FIVB.com
Mikael Clegg; St. Andrews, MB; (University of Winnipeg) – Setter
Jesse Elser; Calgary, AB (FTC – Team Canada) – Left Side
Derek Epp; Saskatoon, SK; (University of Saskatchewan) – Setter
Daenan Gyimah; Scarborough, ON (UCLA Bruins) – Middle
Joel Rudd; Cambridge, ON (Queen’s University) – Left Side
Eric Loeppky; Steinbach, MB (Trinity Western University) – Left Side
Matthew Mawdsley; London, ON (University of Waterloo) – Middle
Fynn McCarthy; Lake Country, BC (Kelowna Volleyball Club) – Middle
Matthew Passalent; Hamilton, ON (McMaster University) – Right Side
Jordan Pereira; St. Catharines, ON (McMaster University) – Libero
Taryq Sani; Ajax, ON (University of Alberta) – Left Side
Max Vriend; Barrhead, AB (MacEwan University) – Middle
Paul Gratton; Orléans, ON – Team Manager
Gino Brousseau; Quebec City, QC – Head Coach
Adam Simac; Ottawa/Toronto, ON – Assistant Coach
Francois St-Denis; Ottawa, ON – Assistant Coach
Daniel Cuzmar Grimalt; Quebec City, QC – Statistician
Jennifer Martins; Waterloo, ON. – Therapist
Murat Haktanir – Statistician