Julien Boucher's worlds blog

Day #7, #8 and #9 – September 19-21 – Bled, Slovenia

The final phase of our preparations for the world championships started today.  We had training this morning and a modified match against Bled tonight

The last day and a half was relatively light.  On Sunday night, Glenn held a video session with the players focusing on Poland, our first opponent in Italy. In the first part, everyone provided comments on each of the Polish players. In the second part we watched three sets of a match between Poland and Brazil a few weeks ago.

Everyone had the next day off. We were received by Bled’s mayor in the morning at a castle overlooking the lake. We went to lunch at the ACH players’ favourite pizza parlour for lunch then visited Ljubljana in the afternoon.

Then this morning, we were back in our routine.  A two hour workout with a short weight training session and defensive work with one on one attacks (defence exercise 5 vs 5). We ended with service and reception. The rest seemed to be beneficial for all.

We have just returned from our match against ACH.  The match was more like a training session: there were no uniforms, no officials, no scoresheets. We played four sets; the last two played the regular way. Both coaches decided to modify the first two sets by allowing three consecutive serves per team. Therefore once the first exchange was completed, two more serves were immediately launched, one an easy ball over the net and then an easy ball directly to the setter to simulate a ball high in the air and in transition. Each set went to 25 points. We won three of the four sets.

Tomorrow, we have two more sessions. In the morning, we have training and in the evening a friendly against, in a town close to Bled.

Day #10 – September 22 – Bled

Last full day in Bled.  The team is very positive and is anxious to travel to the world championship venue.

This morning’s training focused on defence and reception, Glenn wanted to limit the number of jumps.

In the evening in Zirovnica, about 10 minutes from Bled, a match against Remat Zalau, the Romanian league champions, coached by Radovan Gacic, Glenn’s assistant two years ago at ACH Volley.

The match went well. We played four sets and won all four 25-20, 25-20, 25-16, 25-18.  Our six starters were slow off the mark but dominated the opponent, a weaker squad than ACH. The subs also did well especially Gord Perrin. Fred Winters delivered another consistent performance. It augurs well for the weekend.

Tomorrow morning we have weight training, then travel by bus to Trieste, Italy.

Julien Boucher, Canadian team manager.