Red Deer’s Dallas Soonias leads Spanish

January 20, 2010

TOURS, France – Canadian national volleyball team member Dallas Soonias of Red Deer (Alberta) scored 21 points in a brilliant performance to lead Almeria, Spain to a thrilling five-set victory over Tours, France in the League of Champions action.

The Spanish squad won the match 25-21, 25-12, 16-25, 22-25, 15-13 in 111 minutes.  Soonias posted 17 kills and earned four more points on blocks.  He ended the first round as the top scorer on his team and is 17th overall averaging 4.21 points per set.

Wednesday’s matches concluded first round play in the 24-team tournament to determine the top pro club in Europe.  The top-two teams from each of the six pools gain an automatic berth in the second round.

Soonias wasn’t the only Canadian on the floor in the match.  Joshua Howatson of Victoria scored four points for the victors and delivered a sparkling service game.  National team teammate Alexandre Gaumont-Casias of Marieville, Que., was once again one of Tours best players with 10 points.
Tours is currently first in the French National League.

After opening the tournament with three consecutive losses, Almeria finishes with a 2-4 record in pool B.  Tours had the same record but was awarded third spot in the tie-breaking procedure.  Russian pro squad Kazan, at 5-1, and Sofia, Bulgaria at 3-3 were the top-two teams in the pool. The draw for the second round will be held later this week in Luxembourg.

Meanwhile Canadian Daniel Lewis is assuredly headed to the second round with Bled, Slovenia as it placed second in the pool F standings despite a 25-17, 16-25, 25-20, 25-18 loss to Rzeszow, Poland. Bled evened its record at 3-3, good enough for second place.