Canada eliminated at men’s world volleyball championships

By Ted Graham in Siestre

TRIESTE, Italy - After the lofty heights of the previous night, it must have seemed like a long way to fall as the Canadians dropped their must-win final match to Germany, which claimed a straight set win 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-20) at the men’s world volleyball championships.

Canada finishes fourth in its pool with a 1-2 record and is eliminated. The top-three advanced to the second round.

Before the start of the final match of pool play,
Canada knew that, despite their world class performance the previous night defeating Serbia (ranked #4 in the world), they had one job to do against Germany - win. Winning would make their fate clear going into the second round of World Championships - a tournament where Canada’s best finish ever was ninth in 1994.

Tonight’s loss tied
Canada with Germany and Serbia with identical 1-2 records, but World Championship scoring uses the ratio of points for tie breakers. By virtue of Serbia dominating Germany 3-0 in their first match, Serbia had virtually guaranteed itself a berth in the second round. First-place Poland had sewn up their spot with two match wins against Germany and Canada. Canada needed a virtual miracle from the Poland vs. Serbia result, but it wasn’t to be as Poland beat the Serbs in four sets.

“Of course it’s disappointing,” said Canadian team captain Louis-Pierre Mainville. “
Germany started pretty strong and put the pressure on us the whole game. As a young team we will learn from this experience and, since we’ll be together for a long time, we’ll build for the future.”

“We knew it was in our hands to go to the next round,” said German captain Bjorn Andrae. “We saw what they did against
Serbia so we were prepared.”

Particularly strong was
Germany’s offside hitter Gyorgy Grozer who had 19 points in three sets and consistently hit hard over the Canadian block. Dallas Soonias was the leading point scorer for Canada with 11

Germany was a better team tonight,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “They executed much better and we goofed up a lot of balls.”

“It wasn’t easy to beat
Canada,” said German head coach Raul Lozano. “They are very solid and you can see the hands of coach Hoag shaping this team into real competitors.”

While some members of Team Canada will return home, others on the team will now scatter to numerous pro teams across Europe including Libero Dan Lewis and setter Adam Simac who are heading to nearby Bled, Slovenia to play for the city’s pro team while Hoag heads to Turkey for his first season with a pro squad in that country.

Canadian team roster for the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Volleyball Championships

Players: Dallas Soonias, Red Deer, Alta.; Adam Simac, Ottawa; Louis-Pierre Mainville, Notre-Dame de l’Isle, Que.; Dan Lewis, Oakville, Ont.; Nicolas Cundy, Edmonton; Toon Van Lankvelt, Rivers, Man.; Frederic Winters, Victoria; Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon; Adam Kaminski, Chatham, Ont.; Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man.; Josh Howatson, Victoria; Olivier Faucher of Plessisville, Que.; Gord Perrin, Creston, B.C.; Justin Duff, Winnipeg.

Head coach: Glenn Hoag, Gatineau, Que.

Assistant coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau

Team manager: Julien Boucher, Quebec City