Canadian men’s volleyball team wins opening match

PARNU, Estonia – Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon produced 27 points to lead Canada to a 24-26, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 victory over Latvia on Friday to open the four-country Parnu International Cup men’s volleyball tournament.

The Canadian men’s team, the highest seeds here at 22nd in the world, is currently overseas for training and competition as it prepares for its World League qualifying series against Puerto Rico set for August 20 and 21st in Kingston, Ont., as well as its Olympic qualifying tournament later this year.

"We started slow because we had a tough day of training yesterday,’’ said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag.

‘’The Latvians put pressure on us with their blocking.  We were more aggressive and disciplined with our block-defence and put pressure on them with our serving which enabled us to turn the tide in our favour."

Team captain Fred Winters of Victoria added 17 points, Toon Van Lankvelt of River, Man, earned 12 and Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., 10. Adam Simac of Ottawa registered five blocks.

The other teams in the tournament are Turkey and Estonia

For more information: www.volleyball.ca and www.fivb.org