Canada puts up strong challenge against Paralympic champions at world sitting championships

EDMOND, Oklahoma – Paralympic champions Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Canada 25-14, 25-8, 25-18 in men’s round robin play on Tuesday evening at the 23-country world championships in sitting volleyball for athletes with disability. 

With the loss Canada, competing at these world championships for the first time, drop to 1-2. They play their final round robin match on Wednesday against the U.S.

“We are still not playing at the level of consistency we are working towards,” said Ian Halliday, head coach of the Canadian men’s team which lost earlier Tuesday to China. “The third set we played better but made too many errors and let it get away from us at the end.”

Greg Stewart of Kamloops, B.C., led the Canadian attack with nine kills and three service aces and team captain Austin Hinchey of Edmonton added three kills.

“We’ve had a phenomenal experience at this tournament,” said Hinchey, 19, a business student at NAIT College in Edmonton. “It’s been such a great opportunity for us to play the best teams in the world. We are learning every game, stuff like game tactics, technique and offensive systems. There are some big teams here and we’ve struggled trying to get around those bigger blockers.”

The other men’s team members are Chad Drummond and Doug Learoyd, of Edmonton, Jose Rebelo of St-Hubert, Que., Kevin Strybosch of London, Ont., Eric Dechaine of St. Lina, Alta., Wilfredo Morewilson of Toronto and Mikael Bartholdy of Calgary.

The Canadian women played the U.S., later Tuesday.