Canadian teams favoured at volleyball world championship qualifiers
Men’s and women’s tournaments May 16-19 at Hershey Centre in Mississauga
OTTAWA – The road to the FIVB World Championships goes through the Hershey Centre in Mississauga for Canada’s men’s and women’s national volleyball teams as they look to lock up spots for the season’s biggest event this Friday to Monday (May 16-19) at a qualifying tournament.
The men’s national team made giant strides in 2013 climbing from 18th to 11th in the world rankings thanks to a fifth place finish in the World League tournament and is a heavy favorite to win this weekend’s tournament.
The Canadians host Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica and face those teams on May 16-17-18 respectively with the medal matches set for May 19.
Canada is led by high scoring attacker Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., and Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, Alta., who ranked inthe top-five spikers last season in the World League and top-10 blockers Adam Simac of Ottawa and Fred Winters of Victoria.
On the women’s side, Canada is currently ranked 20th in the world and faces a major opponent in Mexico, ranked 28th internationally. The Canadians face Jamaica, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands May 16-17-18.
The women’s team includes former CIS athlete of the year Shanice Marcelle of Victoria, Marie Pierre Murray-Methot of Quebec City and Tasha Holness of Calgary.
“It’s very important that both our men’s and women’s teams qualify in Mississauga, so this makes it very exciting for our coaches and athletes,” said Julien Boucher, Volleyball Canada’s High Performance Director. “We’re looking forward to making our home-country fans proud!”
The men and women round robin games featuring Canada are back-to-back starting at 6 p.m. with the gold medal matches at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday.
The Hershey Centre has a 5,400 seating capacity and it also played host to two weekends of World League action in 2013.
The events in Canada are part of the third round for the NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation) qualifying process, with the winner of each the men and women's tournament advancing to their respective World Championship.
The 2014 FIVB World Championships for men will be held in Poland, August 30 to September 21, 2014, and Italy will host the women for the first time ever from September 23 to October 12 in 2014.
Tickets can be purchased through ticketmaster.ca
All matches will be streamed live at http://volleyballsourcemag.com/live
2 p.m. Women - Mexico vs. US Virgin Islands
4 p.m. Men - Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica
6 p.m. Women - Canada vs. Jamaica
8 p.m. Men - Canada vs. Panama
2 p.m. Women - Jamaica vs. US Virgin Islands
4 p.m. Men - Costa Rica vs. Panama
6 p.m. Men - Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago
8 p.m. Women - Canada vs. Mexico
2 p.m. Men - Panama vs. Trinidad & Tobago
4 p.m. Women - Mexico/Mexique vs. Jamaica
6 p.m. Women - Canada vc. US Virgin Islands
8 p.m. Men - Canada vc. Costa Rica
2 p.m. Men - Bronze Medal match
4 p.m. Women - Bronze Medal match
6 p.m. Men - Gold Medal match
8 p.m. Women - Gold Medal match