Canada looks to maintain pace in World League second round
CBC and Sportsnet One to broadcast more matches
OTTAWA (May 31, 2012)– After a very successful opening round two weeks ago in Toronto, Canada now hits the road in World League men’s volleyball action with the second stop set for this Friday to Sunday (June 1-3) in Katowice, Poland.
Canada faces Poland on Friday at (EDT), Brazil on Saturday at and Finland on Sunday at In Toronto, the Canadians swept the Finns, upset world number-one Brazil in five sets and lost to world number-four Poland 3-1.
‘’We’ve had a couple of training sessions since arriving Wednesday and the guys are very focused,’’ said Canada Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, currently third in World League scoring with 65 points, on Thursday ‘’We’d love to come out of here with another two wins and especially be more aggressive against Poland.’’
The Poles sit atop the Group B standings with six points, Canada and Brazil are tied with five and Finland has two. The top-team in each of the four pools, the host Bulgaria, and the best second place team of all groups advance to the World League Final July 4-8 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Canada travelled overseas with 14 players, all of whom played at the opening stop. Schmidt is just four points behind co-leaders Wallace de Souza of Brazil and Zbigniew Bartman of Poland in league scoring. Schmitt scored 33 points in the victory over Brazil.
Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., is 10th in scoring at 45-points and is Canada’s top rated blocker and receiver after round one. Josh Howatson at setter position, libero Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., and team captain Fred Winters of Victoria are also looking to continue their strong play from Toronto.
‘’We showed in Toronto that we are right there with these other countries,’’ said Schmitt. ‘’The big challenge for us is to repeat that performance on the road but the guys know there is no one above us now. We have to continue to show week in and week out that we are a good team.’’
Group B teams are the only ones in action this weekend in World League play.
Now in its 23rd year, the World League is a 16-country intercontinental tournament that takes place every summer, reaching all corners of the planet, offering worldwide TV coverage and the biggest cash prizes in the sport.