Canadians lead Bled, Slovenia volleyball team to Champions League final six

MACERATE, Italy – Canadian national men’s team coach Glenn Hoag of Gatineau, Que., devised the strategy and Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., directed traffic as ACH Volley Bled earned a thrilling five-set victory over Macerate, Italy to advance to the Final six tournament in the men’s volleyball Champions League.

The Champions League tournament determines to the top professional volleyball team in Europe.  Bled took the two-hour long match 25-23, 17-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-12.

“We have a young team but very strong,” said Hoag, Canada’s national team coach since 2006 who has guided Bled the past two seasons as well.  “I am really happy for the result and for this qualification, especially because we got it against one of the most important clubs in the world.”

Lewis, a 33-year-old Canadian national team veteran, played the Libero position and made 29 receptions.  The libero is essentially the captain of team defence, and is responsible for organizing the other players on the court in serve-reception and during regular play.

Bled now faces Innsbruck in a two match series to be scheduled for early next month.  The three winners advance to the final four tournament on April 10-11 in Lodz, Poland.  The host team will be the fourth squad in the tournament.