Team Canada vs Université Laval February 9, 8 p.m. Gatineau

 Five Ottawa area players on squads

GATINEAU, Que. (January 17, 2013)– Canada’s Full-time Training Centre (FTC) men’s national volleyball team will face CIS powerhouse the Université Laval Rouge et Or in an exhibition match on February 9 at 8 p.m. at the Centre Sportif in Gatineau, Que.

Admission to the match is free and doors will open at 7 p.m.

The 13-member FTC squad will include Jonathan Sloane of Winchester, Ont., brothers Christopher Hoag and Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., the sons of Canada’s national team coach Glenn Hoag, as well as national team veterans Louis-Pierre Mainville of Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot, Que., and Dustin Schneider of Brandon, Man., both returning from injury.

‘’This is another opportunity for us to promote the sport and athletes in our region,’’ said FTC head coach Vincent Pichette. ‘’We had a successful series with Laval last year and a very competitive match this past fall. It will be a good test for our team as the players continue preparations for the national team selection camp in May.’’

Four Ottawa-area players with Laval

Université Laval is currently ranked fourth in Canada with a perfect 11-0 record. The team includes brothers Jérémie Lortie and Bruno Lortie of Orléans, Ont., as well as Patrick Goulet and Vincent Thibault-Bernier, both of Gatineau.

‘’There is plenty of high quality volleyball in the Ottawa-Gatineau region,’’ said Rouge et Or head coach Pascal Clément. ‘’The AAA Collegiate team in Gatineau as well as the Ottawa Mavericks club do a great job producing talented players.’’

In addition, Rouge et Or players Tommy Bélisle of Pierreville, Que., and Pierre-Alexis Lapointe of La Malbaie, Que., have been part of Volleyball Canada’s National B Team program.

‘’It’s a privilege for us to have such a high profile and high quality match in our preparations for the national playoffs,’ ’said Clément. ‘’We can evaluate our progression over the last few months. The level and intensity of these matches are at another level and the FTC team is a very physical squad as well.’’

The FTC faced Laval this past November in Québec City with the national team posting a win in four sets.

The purpose of FTC is to enhance the long-term objective of identifying, selecting and developing a group of athletes with the ability or potential for qualifying for the 2014 FIVB Championship, the 2016 and the 2020 Olympics, as well as performing well in the 2013-2016 quadrennial.

The Full-time Training Centre focuses on graduated CIS/CCAA athletes to prepare them for international level of training and eventually competition.

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