The United States got the better of Canada today at the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship 3-1 (25-17, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17) in their opening round pool match. The U.S. continues to power through this edition of the Worlds, going undefeated so far.
Canada started the week as Pool B leaders in Ruse, but losses to powerhouses Brazil and France put the team in the underdog position going into today’s match. Today, Canada was dominated in the first two sets, but came back in the third looking confident and organized. It was short-lived, however, as the U.S. blazed to 7-2 lead in the fourth and didn’t look back.
“Of course we are disappointed today,” said Canada’s coach Stephane Antiga. “It was very different than against Brazil or France (in round 1), where we had opportunities, and we were sometimes very close and missed our chances. Tonight was different, except in the third set where we played well, and served and received better. But the three other sets – the U.S. were just dominating, and much stronger. We were not even close.”
Matthew Anderson led the U.S. and all scorers with 22 points. Gord Perrin led Canada with 17 points.
“They are one of the best teams in the world and today they showed that,” said Nick Hoag, who contributed 12 points to Canada’s effort. “To advance at the Worlds, you have to win against the big teams, and this is the third (highly ranked) team that we’ve faced that we haven’t won against. So it will be hard to go through, but we have to keep playing hard over the next two days.”
Despite now being a long shot to advance, coach Antiga is looking forward to the next match against Iran on Saturday. “Tomorrow we will play to win as usual.”
At the end of the second round, that is currently being played in four cities in Italy and Bulgaria, the rankings of the four pools will be drawn up taking into account the points scored by each team from the beginning of the tournament. The four pool-winning teams of the second stage will access the third stage, together with the top two of the second ranked teams.
#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