Simac, Gaumont-Casias, Soonias in Team Canada line-up for World League qualifying matches
Canada battles Slovakia in crucial two-game series at Scotiabank Place on Friday and Saturday night
OTTAWA – Adam Simac of Ottawa, who has battled injuries this season, returns to Team Canada’s line-up which was finalized today by head coach Glenn Hoag for the World League men’s volleyball qualifying matches against Slovakia this Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Place.
Simac, who played professionally in Europe this past winter, is one of several key players back on court for Canada after missing last month’s Pan Am Cup in which Canada won the bronze medal.
He suffered an Achille tendon injury which hampered his playing time with his pro club with Bled, Slovenia. Then a back injury forced him to miss the Pan Am Cup.
In fact Canada will field its strongest team since last year’s world championships with the return of Simac, Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., and Alexandre Gaumont-Casias of Ville-Marie, Que., joining established stars such Gavin Schmidt of Saskatoon, Dan Lewis of Oakville, Ont., and Toon Van Lankvelt of River, Man.
Canada is currently ranked 22nd in the world and Slovakia stands at 33rd. The Canadians advanced to the World League qualifier with their performance at the Pan Am Cup. Slovakia defeated Spain in five sets at the European Continental Cup to advance.
‘’Slovakia is one of the top-12 teams in Europe,’’ said Hoag. ‘’But we have a good chance to beat them and we have the advantage of being at home. We showed at the world championships last year that we can play at a very high level.’’ Canada beat world number-five Serbia in round robin play at the worlds in Italy.’’
Other players on the Canadian line-up are Nicholas Cundy of Edmonton, Justin Duff of Winnipeg, Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., Adam Kaminski of Chatham, Ont., Fred Winters of Victoria, Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., and Richard Wilcox of Calgary.
The last time Canada competed in the World League was in 2007 when it placed 13th. The FIVB World League, now in its 22nd year, is a 16-country intercontinental tournament that runs for over a 6 week period every summer and offers the biggest cash prizes in the sport.
The winner of this weekend’s series will be based on a formula of the winning team earning three points for a 3-0 or 3-1 win in sets and two points for a 3-2 win. The loser in the first instance would receive 0 points and one point for a 3-2 loss.
Canadian roster for the World League qualifier series vs Slovakia July 29-30 at Scotibank Place in Ottawa:
Players: Nicholas Cundy, Edmonton; Dan Lewis, Oakville, Ont.; Justin Duff, Winnipeg; Dallas Soonias, Red Deer, Alta.; Adam Simac, Ottawa; Dustin Schneider, Brandon, Man. ; Toon Van Lankvelt, River, Man; Steve Brinkman, Bowmanville, Ont.; Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon; Adam Kaminski, Chatham, Ont.; Fred Winters, Victoria; Alexandre Gaumont Casias, Ville-Marie, Que.; Gord Perrin, Creston, B.C.; Richard Wilcox, Calgary.
Head coach: Glenn Hoag, Gatineau, Que
Assistant coach: Vincent Pichette, Gatineau.
Team manager: Julien Boucher, Quebec City.
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