CIS champs Trinity Western University Spartans lose opening match at FIVB Club World Championships

DOHA, Qatar (October 8, 2011) – The Trinity Western University Spartans from Surrey, B.C., lost their opening match 25-11, 25-15, 25-16 to powerful Zenit Kazan of Russia on Saturday in its opening round robin match at the FIVB Club World Championships in men’s volleyball.

'’We knew they were going to be big and fast, but even with that said, they were bigger and faster than anticipated,’’ said Spartans head coach Ben Josephson who led his squad to the Canadian university title last season. 

Zenit Kazan is the number two ranked pro club in the world.

‘’The first 10 points were a little bit of a shell-shock, everything was a bit overwhelming, but after then I thought the guys settled into the game more and we started to find our abilities within the context of the opponent.’’

Steve Marshall of Abbotsford, B.C., was the top Spartans scorer with 11 points and Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary added 10.

‘’ I thought we built throughout the match nicely, we looked more and more like ourselves,’’ added Josephson. ‘’We began interacting with the international game better and I hope that continues now for the rest of the tournament.’

The Spartans next match is Monday against Paykan from Iran.

The Canadian team roster for the FIVB Club World Championships in men’s volleyball. Team Canada is represented by the Trinity Western University Spartans from Surrey, B.C.

Team: Jarrod Offereins, Calgary; Marc Howatson, Victoria; Devyn Plett, Winnipeg; Ben Ball, Abbotsford, B.C.; Dan Jansen Van Doorn, Langley, B.C.; Steven Marshall, Abbotsford; Brad Kufske, Abbotsford; Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary; Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton; Branden Schmidt, Winton, Alta.; Ben Ball, Abbotsford, B.C.; Derek Thiessen, Coquitlam, B.C.; Nicholas Del Bianco, Surrey, B.C.

Head coach: Ben Josephson, Starthmore, Alta.

Assistant coach: Joel Jansen

Team manager: John Blacher, Winnipeg.

For more information: www.volleyball.ca and http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/Competitions/WorldClubChampionships/2011/Men/