Canada opens volleyball tournament with loss


MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (September 18, 2012) – Canada’s Full Time Centre (FTC) men’s volleyball team lost 18-25, 33-31, 25-17, 25-20 to the Toray Arrows from Japan on Tuesday night to open the World Challenge Club Volleyball Cup.

Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., led the Canadians  with 16 points with 12 attacks and four blocks.  Stephen Gotch of Okotoks, Alta., and Graham Vigrass of Calgary added 11 points each.

“We had a very good start to the match but the Japanese started to adjust to our game,” said Canada’s head coach Vincent Pichette of Gatineau.  “They are a very fast team and they started to put pressure on us with their serve.”

Canada’s next opponent is Argentinean league champions Personal Bolivar which includes several national team players as well as international stars such as Brazil’s Giba and Cuba’s Angel Dennis.

The other clubs entered in the tournament  are the University of California - Irvine, Super Imperatriz (Brazil), and Buenos Aires Unidos (Argentina).

There are two pools of three teams and with Canada in Pool B with Toray Arrows and Personal Bolivar. The top-two in each group advance to the semifinals on September 21 with medal matches on September 22.

Canada is scheduled to remain in Argentina until October 1 for series of exhibition matches.

Canadian team roster for World Challenge Club Volleyball Cup, September 18-22 in Mar del Plata, Argentina

Setters: Jay Blankeneau, Sherwood Park, Alta.; Zachary Diboll, Portage La Prairie, Man.; T.J. Sanders, London, Ont.

Left side: Marc Howatson, Victoria; Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, Que.; Stephen Gotch, Okotoks, Alta.; Sander Ratsep, London, Ont.; Terrel Bramwell, Mississauga, Ont.

Middle: Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary; Graham Vigrass, Calgary; Max Burt, Gander, N.L.; Adam Simac, Ottawa; Jonathan Sloane, Winchester, Ont.

Right side: Allen Meek, Sherwood Park, Alta.



Head coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau, Que.

Assistant coach: Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man.

Team manager: Frank Boyer, Ottawa.

Physiotherapist: Isabelle Bond