Canadians facing elimination in Champions League volleyball playoffs

OTTAWA – After a brilliant season so far, the Arkas Spor Izmir men’s volleyball team coached by Canadian national team head coach Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., and includes two Canadian national team players, appears to have met its match in Champions League men’s volleyball playoffs.

The Champions League is a three-month tournament that determined the top professional volleyball team in Europe.

The Turkish club lost its opening round of six playoff match to Russia’s Novosibirsk 25-22, 25-21, 25-23 before more than 2,500 spectators in the Siberian city.

Izmir is 13-3 and third overall in the Turkish League and was 7-1 in Champions League play prior to the match against Novosibirsk.

Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., and Justin Duff of Winnipeg are also on the Turkish squad. Duff contributed six points. Game two of the total point series is in Izmir on March 1.

Two other Canadian players were also on the losing side in their playoff matches Wednesday. Thomas Jarmoc of Edmonton scored four points as Friedrichshafen of Germany fell to Russia’s Zenit Kazan 25-17, 25-21, 25-18.

Finally in an all Italian battle, Macerata defeated Trentino 16-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-9. Steve Brinkman of Oakville, Ont., is part of the Trentino squad.

On Thursday, national women’s team member Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., leads Villa Cortese in its women’s Champions League quarterfinal match against Volley Bergamo.