Canada continues winning ways in Europe

 MONTPELLIER, France (March 21, 2013) – Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Isle, Que., scored 18 points and Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., was a standout in the setter position as Canada’s Fulltime Training Centre (FTC) team defeated Montpellier of the French Pro A league 25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18 in an exhibition men’s volleyball match on Thursday.

The performances of Mainville and Schneider are great news for the Canadian national team with the selection camp and World League season set to begin at the end of May.  Both are recovering from serious knee injuries.

“We’re hoping they can be 100 percent physically by the time the selection camp starts,” said Canada’s FTC head coach Vincent Pichette.  “Their level of play is very good right now. Dustin provided diversity in our attack and it was a great experience for our young players.”

Marc Howatson of Victoria added 12 points and Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary 10.  Montpellier plays in France’s top pro league and is tied for eighth place.  The top-eight advance to the playoffs and Montpellier plays is final regular season match on the weekend.

“We played much better than yesterday,” said Pichette.  Canada defeated a Pro B team in four sets as well.  “Our service reception was stable and organized.  Our service, service reception and counter-attack are three aspects we are really focusing on, on this tour.

Team Canada arrived here on Sunday for a two-week mix of training and matches.  This week they will also have matches on Friday and another five matches next week before returning to Gatineau on March 31.

Canada’s Fulltime Training Centre team on European Tour in Montpellier, France

Players: Louis-Pierre Mainville, Notre-Dame-de-l’Isle, Que., Devon Parkinson, Richmond, B.C.; Marc Howatson, Victoria; Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, Que.; Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary; Graham Vigrass, Calgary; Christopher Hoag, Sherbrooke, Que..; Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man.; Jay Blankeneau, Sherwood Park, Alta.; Jonathan Sloane, Winchester, Ont.; Allen Meek, Sherwood Park; T.J. Sanders, London, Ont.

Staff

Head coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau

Assistant coach: Denis Gaboury, Ottawa

Head of delegation: Julien Boucher, Quebec City

Physio: Luc Campbell, Gatineau

Strength and conditioning: Nicolas Roy, Sherbrooke