Slovakia confirmed as Canada’s opponent for men’s World League volleyball qualifier July 29-30 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa

OTTAWACanada will face Slovakia in what promises to be an exciting two-match series in the first round of qualifying for the 2012 FIVB World League in men’s volleyball July 29-30 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Both matches start at 7:30 p.m.

The Slovakians beat Spain in five sets to gain the right to face Canada at the European Continental championships this past weekend. Canada is currently ranked 22nd in the world while Slovakia stands at number 33.

‘’Slovakia is a very strong team and they have qualified to compete as well at the European championships later this year,’’ said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. ‘’Our players that play pro in Europe over the winter know those players well and they know the task ahead will be a challenge.’

Canada kept its World League hopes alive last month with a bronze medal performance at the Pan Am Cup in Gatineau, Que.

‘’Being at home for those two matches should give us an advantage,’’ said Hoag. ‘’Our players love to play in Canada and show what they can do for the home crowd. That was obvious at the Pan Am Cup where she had some fine performances.’’

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 priority this year is still the Olympic qualifying tournament but the World League is a great opportunity for us,’’ said Hoag. ‘’If we can make it, that would open up a whole new schedule of games for us for next season.’’

The winner of the 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.


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