Canada and Argentina battled it out in the opener of the FIVB Olympic Qualification Tournament Pool F in China

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Photo FIVB

Canada and Argentina battled it out in the opener of the FIVB Olympic Qualification Tournament Pool F in China today, with the South American team edging out Canada 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 27-25, 25-23).

There wasn’t a dull moment in the match, with the teams going back and forth for the first two sets.  In the third, Argentina pulled ahead, but Canada made a dramatic comeback only to lose 27-25 after a successful video challenge at 24-26 brought Argentina back to life.

“I think Argentina played a good match – they were very focused and played great defense,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “We had opportunities that we could not capitalize on in crucial moments, and that probably lost us the match.”

Earlier in the day, China defeated Finland in the same pool. Canada plays host China tomorrow (7:30 pm local) and then Finland on Sunday.

“Now it’s important to regroup, and we have some young players that will learn from these types of matches. We need to stay in competition and represent our country.  We need to come back and prepare for the next games,” said Hoag.

Argentine standout Facundo Conte was match top scorer with 24 points for the winning team.

“Argentina was really fast and hard for us to stop and defend,” said player Nick Hoag, who was Canada’s top scorer with 19 points, including three aces. “We missed some crucial points, the pressure got to us a bit especially in small situations such as free balls for example. I think we weren’t as focused as we should have been to win this game.”

After the qualifier this weekend, there are additional opportunities for teams to qualify in their respective regions early next year.
The men’s tournaments include:

• Pool A (in Varna): Brazil, Egypt, Bulgaria, Puerto Rico.
• Pool B (in Rotterdam): USA, Belgium, The Netherlands, Korea.
• Pool C (in Bari): Italy, Serbia, Australia, Cameroon.
• Pool D (in Gdansk): Poland, France, Slovenia, Tunisia.
• Pool E (in Saint Petersburg): Russia, Iran, Cuba, Mexico.
• Pool F (in Ningbo): Canada, Argentina, Finland, China.

Roster: 

#1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2 Gordon Perrin, Creston, BC (captain)
#3 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
#4 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#7 Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
#9 Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB
#10 Sharone Vernon-Evans, Scarborough, ON
#11 Daniel Jansen Vandoorn, Langley, BC
#12 Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
#16 Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
#17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
#19 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#21 Brett Walsh, Calgary, AB
#24 Adam Schriemer, Winnipeg, MB

Staff:
Glenn Hoag, Head coach
Dan Lewis, Assistant coach
Gino Brousseau, Assistant coach
Georges Laplante, Team manager
Lionel Bonnaure, Statistician
Michael Cook, Strength coach
Kyle Paquette, Mental performance coach
Tracy Blake, Athletic therapist
Julien Boucher, High performance director