Trinity Western University Spartans to represent Canada at FIVB Club World Championships

OTTAWA (October 4, 2011) – The Trinity Western University Spartans, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s volleyball champions, will represent Canada at the eight-team FIVB Club Championships set for October 8-14 in Doha, Qatar.

Canada is in pool A with clubs from Poland, Russia and Iran. Pool B clubs are from Italy, Egypt, Brazil and Qatar. Italy’s Trentino BetClic’s, which includes Canadian national team member Steve Brinkman of Bowmanville, Ont., is the two-time defending champion.  

In round robin play, the Canadians face Russia’s Zenit Kazan, the number-two pro club in the world, on October 8, Iran on October 10 and Poland on October 11. The top two teams in each pool after the round robin cross over in the semifinals on October 13. The medal matches are on October 14.

Spartans head coach Ben Josephson said the tournament is an opportunity of a lifetime. ‘’ Now, we are going to be able to give our players a visual of what it takes to be a great international player, not just a great CIS player,’’ he said.

The Spartans squad includes fifth year Rudy Verhoeff of Calgary who was named the CIS Championships tournament MVP last season and was a second All Canadian team member. Setter Ben Ball of Abbotsford, B.C., was named to the CIS Championships All Star team.

Also on the squad are world junior team members Lucas Van Berkel of Edmonton, Branden Schmidt of Winton, Alta., Brad Kufske of Abbotsford and Derek Thiessen of Coquitlam, B.C., and World University Games team members Verhoeff and Marc Howatson of Victoria.

The Spartans are participating as the representative team from North and Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) zone. Canada had the berth opportunity from a rotation process because NORCECA does not currently have a Club Championship. Last year a team from the U.S. competed in the men's competition and the year before it was a team from Puerto Rico.

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.

For more information: www.volleyball.ca and http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/Competitions/WorldClubChampionships/2011/Men/