Canada wins consolation final for fifth

KAZAN, Russia (July 15, 2013) – The Canadian men’s volleyball team finished among the top six for the fourth straight FISU Games thanks to a 3-0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-17) victory over the Czech Republic at the 27th Summer Universiade, Monday afternoon.

Canada (5-2) finishes fifth after winning the consolation side of the draw. The appearances in the top six include claiming a silver medal in 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand, finishing sixth in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia, and barely missing the podium in 2011 in China, taking fourth place. 

“We came in expecting to medal and we had a pretty good go at it,” said left side Steven Marshall of Abbotsford, B.C. “We played some really tough teams and it was really good competition. We had a pretty disappoint quarter-final against Ukraine but I think we bounced back well together as a team and our last two games together were really fun.”

Surrendering the lead just twice in the opening set, Canada scored four straight points to secure the win.

The second game had a different feel. The Czech Republic had a three-point lead for the majority of the set until a Marshall attack that froze the back line pulled Canada within one. The Canadians went on a 7-4 run close out the stanza, 27-25.

After the second set loss, the Czech Republic squad was deflated and Canada easily won 25-17.

“Those sets that are close that the other team are up are usually a huge momentum builder, especially for us,” said Marshall. “We kind of took the wind out of their sails a bit. They were trying to get back in the match and then we ended up stealing that set. I think the third set showed that they were disappointed and we just kind of rolled the rest of the way.”

Earlier in the tournament, the Canadians had defeated the Czech Republic 3-1 (26-24, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17) during pool play.

Marshall, a member of the Trinity Western University Spartans, led the way on offence with 14 kills and nine digs, leading the tournament in the category. Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., added 13 kills, while older brother Chris tallied seven.

On Tuesday, reigning two-time champion Russia will battle Poland for the gold medal, while Japan and Ukraine will play for bronze.

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Czech Republic