Gaumont-Casias’ return sparks Canadians to victory and first place at international men’s volleyball tournament
PARNU, Estonia – Alexandre Gaumont-Casias of Marieville, Que., made an impressive return to the men’s national volleyball team on Sunday as he led Canada to a 25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 23-25, 15-11 victory over Estonia and first place at the four-country Parnu International Cup.
Gaumont-Casias, who missed the Pan Am Cup and first round of World League qualifying this season due to shoulder surgery this past spring, accounted for 18 points for Canada with 14 kills, two aces and two blocks.
That’s big news for Canadian squad heading into the second and final round World League qualifying series against Puerto Rico August 20-21 in Kingston, Ont.
Gaumont-Casias stepped in for high scoring Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon who was unable to play Sunday due to a neck injury.
‘’ Alex did the job as an opposite,’’ said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. ‘’We needed to win two sets to secure first place. The guys were focused right through because the Estonians served hard all game long.’’
Toon Van Lankvelt of River, Man., added 14 points, Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., 12, Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., and Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., 11 each and Fred Winters of Victoria eight.
Setter Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., was named the tournament MVP
Hoag also inserted some of his younger players such as Perrin and Justin Duff of Winnipeg in the third set.
‘’We struggled with our reception as Estonia played without pressure but we fought all match long,’’ Hoag said. ‘’The fifth set was really good for us as we regained our focus and our block defence was really efficient.’’
Canada went 3-0 in the weekend tourney defeating Turkey in straight sets Saturday and Latvia in four on Friday. The Canadian team returns home Monday to its training base in Gatineau, Que.
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