Canada remains undefeated in Pool B of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship after a 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23) victory over China on Saturday at the Arena Monbat in Ruse.
Although Canada dropped its first set of the tournament in today’s match, the team fought back to clinch the match in four sets.
“I expected a game like that,” said Canada’s head coach Stephane Antiga, who acknowledged China’s blocking skills in today’s contest.
“We could see that in China’s first two matches here (at the Worlds), they were not really playing like China. They played a lot better during Nations League than they did in the first two games of the World Championship. I warned the team that they (China) can play much better, and they did!”
Team captain Gordon Perrin finished as a top scorer with 26 points, and Sharone Vernon-Evans added 14. For China, Chuan Jiang was its top scoring contributor with 19 points.
“We didn’t play that well of a game; we had some interesting moments where we made some mistakes and didn’t make plays that we would usually make,” admitted Perrin, “but the most important thing is that we showed good heart .… Everybody really wanted the victory and that showed, so that was the best thing about today.”
Coach Antiga agreed: “That’s good that we are ready to fight and everybody was ready with positive performances. We can play better obviously, but we had to fight to win this game and I think that is best preparation for the two last very difficult games (Brazil and France) of this first round.”
Canada has Sunday off and will prepare for its match against 2016 Olympic champions, Brazil, which takes place Monday night in Ruse.
About the tournament:
The 19th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships takes place in both Italy and Bulgaria from September 9 to 30, 2018.
The tournament features a total of 24 teams. There are two teams from South America, four from Asia, 10 (including the hosts and defending champions Poland) from Europe, three from Africa and five from the North, Central America and Caribbean zone.
In the first round, the 24 teams are spread across four pools of six teams playing in a round-robin system. The top four teams from each pool will advance to the second round featuring four pools of four teams playing in four cities.
#1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2 Gord Perrin, Creston, BC
#3 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
#4 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#5 Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
#7 Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
#8 Jay Blankenau, Sherwood Park, AB
#9 Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB
#10 Sharone Vernon-Evans, Scarborough, ON
#11 Daniel Jansen VanDoorn, Langley, BC
#16 Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
#17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
#18 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#20 Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON
Head coach: Stephane Antiga
Assistant coach: Dan Lewis
Team manager: Julien Boucher
Therapists: Melissa Healy, Luc Campbell
Statistician: Lionel Bonnaure