France advances to the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League gold medal match after defeating Canada 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21) today.
French superstar Earvin Ngapeth was in top form with a 24-point game, including four aces, sending his team to the final match against Brazil tomorrow. Canada plays the U.S. for the bronze medal (20:00 local time).
Canada had a slow start this evening, but recovered some confidence to win the second set. However, the skilled French side was too much to handle today.
“France was better than us,” said Canada’s head coach Stephane Antiga, a former French National Team player. “They took advantage of their series of good serves and we were not as efficient with some of our elements that we usually handle better, such as high balls, and they blocked us too many times. It was a good experience for the players, and we will prepare for the United States. We will be here tomorrow to fight again for the medal that we dream about.”
Canada’s captain, Gordon Perrin, was the team’s top scorer, with 15 points, followed by Sharone Vernon-Evans and Graham Vigrass with 14 each.
“France played really well tonight – we knew they were going to be good on defense, and they played better than us obviously,” said Perrin. “We will give everything we have tomorrow (against the U.S.). It’s been a long tournament, but we’re very excited to be in the position we’re in and fighting for a medal, so we’ll give our best and it will be fun to play against the Americans for sure.”
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)
Nicholas Hoag – Sherbrooke, QC
Stephane Antiga, head coach
Daniel Lewis, assistant coach
Georges Laplante, assistant coach
Lionel Bonnaure, statistician
Jean-Sebastien Hartell, therapist
Melanie Desrochers, team manager