Team Canada took on the Olympic champions, Team France, in their second match of the 2022 Volleyball Nations League (VNL), with France winning 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-21) at the Arena at TD Place.
Canada battled hard, keeping the game tight and going back and forth throughout the match. Ultimately, they were handed their second loss of the week while France goes up 3-0.
“It was a better game than Tuesday , I think our nerves settled,” said team captain Nicholas Hoag. “Today was probably a little less pressure because we were playing a team that on paper should beat us. But we saw progress today, we were playing much better and I think if we can reduce our mistakes a bit more and make some better plays, we could have beat those guys. We’ve just got to keep working. This is a young group, we hadn’t all played together, so it’s going to get better.”
Hoag continues, touching on what Team Canada has to do the rest of this weekend in Ottawa, “We’ve got to watch video, we’re going to get ready, and we have to battle like we did tonight. The crowd was amazing, that helped a lot. We’ll get back at it and we’re going to fight. We’re at home, it’s amazing to play in from of these people. If we keep playing better and better and clean up our mistakes, we’re going to get wins at some point.”
Stephen Maar once again led the way for Canada with 12 points, while Pearce Eshenko followed with eight.
The first two games of the day gave fans all the volleyball action they could hope for, with both games going to five sets. Serbia won their second game of VNL, defeating Argentina 3-2 (25-16, 25-18, 17-25, 12-25, 15-6). Germany won their second game of the week as well, beating Bulgaria 3-2 as well (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 20-25, 15-10).
Tomorrow will see the winners of today’s first two games, Serbia and Germany, face off at 1:00 pm ET. Both teams sit at 2-1 entering their final matchup in Ottawa. At 4:00 pm ET, Bulgaria and Poland hit the court with Bulgaria is looking for their first win of the week, while Poland is even at 1-1. Team Canada closes out the day versus Italy, also 1-1, at 7 pm ET.
Roster (week 1)
Jay Blankenau, Sherwood Park, AB
Brett Walsh, Calgary, AB
Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
Brodie Hofer, Langley, BC
Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC (captain)
Ryley Barnes, Edmonton, AB
Mathias Elser, Calgary, AB
Justin Lui, Pickering, ON
Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
Pearce Eshenko, Banff, AB
Jackson Howe, Calgary, AB
Marc Wilson, Stratford, ON
Jesse Elser, Calgary, AB
Staff (week 1)
Head coach: Ben Josephson
Assistant coach: Joe Trinsey
Assistant coach: Stefan Hübner
Sport physiotherapist: Jovana Smoljanic
Strength and conditioning : Michael Cook
Statistician: David Dantes
Team manager: Julien Boucher