Julien Boucher's world championship blog

Day 6, September 18, Bled, Slovenia

It was a gala evening at the Radovljica Arena. This venue, about eight kilometres from Bled, is where the ACH Volley plays its home games. The corporate headquarters for ACH (Auto Commerce Holding) the club’s main sponsor, is in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital.

The club celebrated its 40th anniversary last night and our match was part of the festivities.  For the occasion there were many special guests including Bled’s Mayor, members of the original 1970 team and…Glenn Hoag (Hoag coached here the last two seasons). During the presentation of the six starters for Canada, the arena’s announcer named Olivier Faucher as the team’s starting libero instead of Dan Lewis as a prank to one of the crowd’s favourites. Lewis is a member of the Bled squad during the winter season.

Even though it wasn’t a great match we were able to get back on the winning track.  We won 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23. Glenn took the opportunity to provide everyone with some game time.  For the first time on this trip, all the players were on the plus side in the plus\minus rankings. Glenn used Olivier Faucher as the second libero but mainly for defensive purposes. The FIVB could soon imitate the CEV league and allow this rule. In European Cup play, a team can use two liberos in the same match, as long as they are not on court at the same time.

Tomorrow we will train in the morning and have a video session in the evening.  Since we left Gatineau each player has videos on all three teams we will face in the round robin at the world championships: Poland, Serbia and Germany. They must all fill out reports during this trip and tonight will be the first opportunity to compare notes.

Monday is an off day for all, including me.  I’ll be back Tuesday with more news.

Meanwhile you  can visit http://www.ach-volley.si/   which will post photos of the match. For travelling enthusiasts here are some websites to check out on the area.

Bled tourism: http://www.slovenia.info/?_ctg_kraji=3284&lng=5

Our hotel website: http://www.hotel-krim.si/

Julien Boucher, Canadian team manager.