VNL men’s tournament,Photo: FIVB

Russia beat Canada today 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23) in the second match of week three of Volleyball Nations League, hosted by Iran.

Unlike yesterday’s decisive loss to Iran, Canada kept the Russian team, who are defending VNL champions, battling throughout the match.

“Although we lost a hard-fought match versus Russia, the team played a much more focused match than yesterday,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag.  “The time difference and jet lag have been an issue but the guys really were focused all match long. Our block defense was working very well and we were able to put pressure on Russia’s attackers. Adam Schriemer and Daenan Gyimah did quite well for their first presence on court in VNL. We have another important match tomorrow against Poland, we can keep improving in all aspect of our game.”

Sharone Vernon-Evans was a factor for Canada with 16 points, Arthur Szwarc contributed 11, while Nick Hoag and Stephen Maar had 10 apiece.

Denis Zemchenok was Russia’s top scorer with 12.

Full stats, highlights and photos:

Canada plays Poland at 7 am Eastern time on Sunday

The following athletes are representing Canada during week three of the VNL men’s tournament in Urmia, Iran:

Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC (Captain)
Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB
Sharone Vernon-Evans, Scarborough, ON
Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON
Brett Walsh, Calgary, AB
Adam Schriemer, Winnipeg, MB
Daenan Gyimah, Scarborough, ON
Brandon Koppers, Georgetown, ON

Canadian results so far:

VNL Ottawa (June 07 to 09)
CAN def. AUS 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-18)
CAN def. GER 3-2 (23-25, 29-27, 25-18, 23-25, 15-12)
SRB def. CAN 3-2 (25-17, 24-26, 25-21, 26-28,15-12)

VNL Argentina (May 31 to June 02)
BUL def. CAN 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 19-25, 25-17)
CAN def. POR 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-16)
CAN def ARG 3-1 (25-21, 29-27,16-25, 26-24).

VNL Iran (June 14 to 16
IRI def. CAN 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-16)
RUS def CAN 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23)