Canadian Kris Brand shows scoring touch as Franken falls to Unterhaching in German pro volleyball

January 18, 2010

BAMBERG, Germany – Kris Brand of Quesnel, B.C., tallied a team-high 14 points but it wasn’t enough to help Franken Volleyball Club as it fell 25-22, 25-19, 26-24 at home to second-ranked Unterhaching in German men’s professional volleyball league action on Monday.

The Franken team has a heavy Canadian flavour with Adam Simac of Orleans, Ont., and Brock Davidiuk of Edmonton also both on the team.   Simac earned five points, including three on blocks while Davidiuk garnered one point.  Franken squandered late leads in both the first and third sets.

Franken, which won it previous four matches, is currently in eighth place in the 12-team German pro league with 10 points.  Unterhaching, last year’s finalist, is in second place with 22 points as they battle undefeated Friedrichshafen (26 points) for top spot.

“If you want to keep up against such a strong team like Unterhaching, you must show your best. That wasn’t the case today.  We never found our rhythm “, said Franken coach Mark Lebedev.

The 26-year-old Brand, whose birth date is Christmas Day, was a star player in Canadian university volleyball with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and has also played pro in Greece and Belgium.

Other Canadians in the German pro league include Ryan DeBruyn of Ottawa and Nathan Toews of Winnipeg, both with 11th place Wuppertal.

Three Canadians are scheduled to be in action on Wednesday in the League of Champions match between Tours from the French national league and Almeria from the Spanish pro league.  Alexandre Gaumont of Marieville, Que., plays for Tours while Dallas Soonias of Saskatoon and Joshua Howatson of Victoria are with Almeria.