Canada lacks focus against Poland.Photo: FIVB

Poland came out on top today, defeating Canada 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 25-20, 28-26), in the final VNL match of the weekend for Canada in Iran.

“We started our match poorly and we were lacking in focus – against a team like Poland it is very hard to play that way,” said Glenn Hoag, Canada’s head coach. “In the second set, we got our focus back on playing a point at a time, and we had better execution…. We have a lot of work to do in all aspects of our game, but we have good moments and that’s what we have to focus on as we head to the U.S. for the next weekend of VNL.”

Canadian opposite Sharone Vernon-Evans’ match high 31 points wasn’t enough against Poland’s team effort led by Dawid Konarski (21 points) and Aleksander Sliwka (20 points). Poland was also able to capitalize on Canada’s errors, and pick up their first win of the weekend after losing to Russia in four sets, and falling to host Iran in five on Saturday.

“Overall, I think we’ve had better games,” the 20-year-old Vernon-Evans said after today’s match. “We went up against great teams this weekend and just didn’t play our best, which is something we can’t afford at this stage. I think we have a lot of room for growth and we’ve just got to come harder for the next competition.”

Vernon-Evans scored 28 points on attack, had two blocks and served one ace today against Poland, and is the only player in the tournament on a losing side to have scored 30-plus points in a single match so far.

Canada comes away from Iran with no wins this weekend in a tough pool that included the home team Iran, 2018 VNL champs Russia and reigning World Champions, Poland.  Next week they face China, host U.S. and Japan in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

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)
POL def. CAN 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 25-20, 28-26)