Team Canada defeats Universite Laval

GATINEAU – Canada’s Full-time Training Centre (FTC) men’s national volleyball team defeated CIS powerhouse université Laval Rouge et Or 25-18, 26-28, 25-17, 25-15 before more than 800 fans on Saturday night at the Centre sportif.

Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Isle, Que., led the Canadian attack with 24 points while Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary added 15 and Jonathan Sloane of Winchester, Ont., 11.  Canadian national team setter Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., also had a strong match as he returns from a knee injury.

Laval, 14-0 this season and ranked third in Canada, is currently preparing for the national championships which start next month.  Laval hosts the CIS Nationals March 1-3 in Quebec City.

‘’We had a strong match,’’ said FTC head coach Vincent Pichette.  ‘’It was exciting to play in front of such an enthusiastic crowd and I’m sure it was an excellent preparation for nationals for Laval.  This was a great promotional event for everyone and we thanks our staff and volunteers for their efforts.’’

Among the crowd were Canadian national team members Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., and Fred Winters of Victoria.  Soonias is currently recovering from shoulder injury while Winters is taking a break after a busy professional season in China.  Winters and Steve Brinkman of Oakville, Ont., led BAIC Motors to the title in the Chinese pro league last week.

Prior to Saturday’s match, Michel Paiement of Ottawa, Volleyball Canada's technical director from 1989 to 2002, was honored as a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. 

The FTC players will now prepare for a training camp and matches in Montpelier, France to be held from March 17-31.