Canada’s Sarah Pavan leads her pro squad to playoff victory in Champions League

Castellanza, Italy (February 1, 2012) - Canadian national team star Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., produced 22 points on Wednesday to lead Villa Cortese, Italy to a dramatic five-set victory in a women’s volleyball Champions League round of 16 playoff action.

The Champions League is a three month tournament which determines the top professional volleyball club in Europe.

Villa Cortese, which is based in Milan, defeated Moscow Dynamo 25-20, 25-18, 18-25, 23-25, 15-12 in a match that lasted nearly two hours.

Pavan, who finished the round robin of the portion of the tournament seventh in league scoring, was her squads top point getter. The two match series concludes next Tuesday in the Russian capital.

In men’s Champions League play, the Arkas men’s volleyball club, which is based in Izmir, Turkey and includes three Canadians, drew first blood in its two-match series against Zaska, Poland on Wednesday.

The Turkish pro squad led by Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., the head coach of the men’s national team, took the match 27-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23 to improve its overall Champions League record to six wins and a loss.

There are two Canadian national team players on the Turkish squad as well. Justin Duff of Winnipeg played in all four sets and scored five points while Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., played in the first set and scored three points.

The two teams face each other again next Wednesday this time in Izmir.

Thomas Jarmoc of Edmonton is also in the tournament with Friedrichshafen Volleyball Club in Germany which won its opening playoff match 29-27, 25-18, 25-21 over Tours, France

Three Canadian national team players are also playing professionally in French Division 1 regular season play. Josh Howatson of Victoria is with Paris Volley which is currently in 11th overall, Nicholas Cundy of Edmonton plays for Cannes sitting seventh and Alexandre Gaumont-Casias of Ville-Marie, Que., is with Turcoing in sixth spot.

For more information on the CEV Volleyball Champions League visit:

Men: http://www.cev.lu/Competition-Area/competition.aspx?ID=548&PID=1117

Women: http://www.cev.lu/Competition-Area/competition.aspx?ID=551&PID=1126