Spartans earn victory at world club championships

DOHA, Qatar – Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary led all scorers with 26 points on Monday as the Trinity Western University Spartans from Surrey, B.C., defeated Iran’s Parkan Club 25-23, 18-25, 17-25, 25-18, 15-6 on Monday at the FIVB Club World Championships in men’s volleyball.

The Spartans even their round robin record at 1-1 to remain in contention for a berth in the semifinals.

‘’After the first set they raised their level of play and we we're not responding fast enough  until the fourth set,’’ said Verhoeff. ‘’That is something we need to improve on for the remaining part of this competition.’’

Verhoeff earned his points on 20 attacks, five blocks and one service ace. Steve Marshall of Abbotsford, B.C., also contributed 15 points, Lucas Van Berkel of Edmonton 11 and Marc Howatson of Victoria 10.

‘’Our guys had lots of energy in the fourth and fifth sets and that may be one of the reasons we came out ahead in the end,’’ said TWU’s head coach Ben Josephson.

The Spartans out-blocked their opponents by a 27-7 margin. Both Van Berkel and Daniel Jansen van Doorn of Langley, B.C., each recorded seven blocks in the match.

‘’Our block was also the difference today,’’ added Josephson. ‘’In  the second and third sets the Iranians did a good job attacking around our block but overall we did a very good job in getting our hands in the right places, forcing them to make perfect shots to score.’’

The Spartans conclude the preliminary round Tuesday against KS Jastrzebski Wegiel from Poland with the winner of that match advancing to the semifinals.

Canadian Steve Brinkman shines for Italian club

Also in tournament play, Canadian national team player Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., scored five points helping his pro club Trentiono Diatec Trento from Italy to a 25-16, 25-22, 25-22 victory over Al-Ahly of Cairo in its opening match at the tournament.

The Italian squad is the two time defending tournament champions. This past summer Brinkman played his 200th international match with the Canadian national team.

The Canadian team roster for the FIVB Club World Championships in men’s volleyball. Team Canada is represented by the Trinity Western University Spartans from Surrey, B.C.

Team: Jarrod Offereins, Calgary; Marc Howatson, Victoria; Devyn Plett, Winnipeg; Ben Ball, Abbotsford, B.C.; Dan Jansen Van Doorn, Langley, B.C.; Steven Marshall, Abbotsford; Brad Kufske, Abbotsford; Rudy Verhoeff, Calgary; Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton; Branden Schmidt, Winton, Alta.; Ben Ball, Abbotsford, B.C.; Derek Thiessen, Coquitlam, B.C.; Nicholas Del Bianco, Surrey, B.C.

Head coach: Ben Josephson, Starthmore, Alta.

Assistant coach: Joel Jansen

Team manager: John Blacher, Winnipeg.

Press Conference Quotes & Full Stats can be found at the following site:

http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/Competitions/WorldClubChampionships/2011/Men/livescore.asp#

Photogallery:

http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/Competitions/WorldClubChampionships/2011/Men/Photos.asp

Blog of Jordan Geransky, a staff member of the Spartans:

http://jordangeransky.wordpress.com/

Live webcasting of the tournament including the Spartans on Oct 11 vs KS Jastrzebski Wegiel (Poland) can be found at the following link:

http://www.laola1.tv/en/int/fivb/video/203---.html

For additional information on the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship

http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/Competitions/WorldClubChampionships/2011/Men/