Volleyball Canada announces men’s world junior team

OTTAWA – Volleyball Canada announced today its 14-member men’s national junior team that will compete at the men’s world junior volleyball championships set for July 31- to August 10 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The selections were decided following a 47-player try-out camp that was held recently at the men’s national training centre in Gatineau, Que.

The roster features seven players from the Canadian team that won the silver medal last summer at the NORCECA (North and Central America and Caribbean) championships in Gatineau including tournament MVP Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que. That result qualified Canada for this year’s world juniors.

Also from that 2010 team are Jay Olmstead of Edmonton, Tommy Bélisle of Quebec City, Tristan Aubry and Lucas VanBerkel, both of Edmonton, Tyler (TJ) Sanders of London, Ont., and Branden Schmidt of Winton, Alta.

The others selected to the 2011 squad are Brett Wiess of Winnipeg, Daniel Moreau of Sherbrooke, Braden McLean of Birch Hills, Sask., Alex Davis of White Rock, B.C., Bradley Kufske of Abbotsford, B.C., Derek Thiessen of Coquitlam, B.C., and Jarron Mueller of Calgary.

The selected team will train for the duration of the summer and currently have plans for preparation matches in early June in Canada. They will travel to Panama City to compete at the U21 Pan Am Cup from June 19 to 27thThen in July they head to Argentina just prior to the World Championship for final tune-up matches before arriving in Brazil on July 30.

Canada is hoping for a lucky number seven as they have competed in six previous World Junior Men’s Championships, including a best result of 5th in 1999.

The head coach of the men’s national junior team is Georges Laplante of l’Université de Montréal. His assistants are Greg Barthel of the University of Regina and Brad Poplawski of the University of Alberta.

Here are the players selected to the men’s national junior volleyball team sorted by province:

Alberta: Tristan Aubry, Edmonton; Jay Olmstead, Edmonton; Lucas VanBerkel, Edmonton; Branden Schmidt, Winton; Jarron Mueller, Calgary.

B.C.: Alex Davis, White Rock; Bradley Kufske, Abbotsford; Derek Thiessen, Coquitlam.

Manitoba: Brett Wiess, Winnipeg.

Ontario: Tyler (TJ) Sanders, London.

Quebec: Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke; Daniel Moreau, Sherbrooke; Tommy Bélisle, Quebec City.

Saskatchewan: Braden McLean, Birch Hills.

Head coach: Georges Laplante, Montreal

Assistant coaches: Greg Barthel, Regina and Brad Poplawski, Edmonton.