Canada lose a tight match to Australia in exhibition tour

CANBERRA, Australia – Canada’s men’s volleyball team couldn’t overcome a slow start and lost 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 to Australia in an exhibition match in the Australian capital. The Canadians are down under for two weeks as they continue preparations for the world championships this September in Italy.

It was the second of four meetings between the two world championship-bound squads. Last week, the Australians also won. The final two matches are this Friday and Saturday in Melbourne.

“In all there wasn't any one area the team was overly poor or strong in,” said Canadian assistant coach Larry McKay about the second match.   “With new starters for this match the team is working towards clearly identifying jobs and then doing them well. As expected the Australians are playing well and the competition for our side is good.”

The Canadians seemed to find a rhythm late in the first set and led most of the second and kept it close through the third.

Team Canada started Josh Howatson of Victoria at setter, Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., opposite, Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Isle, Que., Adam Kaminski of Chatham, Ont., in the middle, Toon van Lankvelt of Rivers Man., and Fred Winters of Victoria at leftside and Benoit Raymond of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., at libero.

It was a first start for Howatson, van Lankvelt and Kaminski. Kaminski is coming back from a hand injury while Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon and Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., were out due to injuries.

The Canadian team departs for Melbourne on Thursday.

The 14-member Canadian team, lead by head coach Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., is comprised of Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Isle, Que., Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., Adam Kaminski of Chatham, Ont., Justin Duff of Winnipeg, Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., Joshua Howatson of Victoria, Jeremy Wilcox of Calgary, Fred Winters of Victoria, Steve Gotch of Okotoks, Alta., Toon Van Lankvelt of Rivers, Man., Nicholas Cundy of Edmonton, Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon and Benoit Raymond of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.

Match in detail: http://www.avf.org.au/index.php?id=32&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=1301&tx_ttnews[backPid]=31&cHash=4557f577de

Larry McKay’s blog: http://www.volleyball.ca/content/team-canada-blog