World League tournament starts Saturday for Canada in Calgary

Calgary, AB – The head coach of Canada’s national men’s volleyball team says his troops are prepared for their biggest matches so far this season as the FIVB World League tournament opens this Saturday and Sunday (May 31-June 1) in Calgary against Finland.

Earlier this month, the Canadians locked-up a berth for this fall’s World Championships by winning a continental qualifier in Mississauga.  However the World League features the top-countries battling for the largest cash prizes in the sport.

“We are well aware that Finland will be tougher than any of the teams we faced at the qualification tournament,” said Glenn Hoag, at the helm of the Canadian national team since 2006. “We have worked hard in the short time we’ve been together and are looking forward to two competitive matches in Calgary.”

The Gatineau-based national squad was the revelation in last year’s World League placing a best-ever fifth and climbing from 18th to 11th in the world rankings. They defeated Olympic champion Russia in the final round although the Russians rebounded to win the tournament for the second time in three years.

There are many returning stars from that Canadian team including Fred Winters of Victoria, Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., and Adam Simac of Ottawa.

Both matches this weekend at the Stampede Corral start at 6 p.m. local time and tickets can be obtained at Ticketmaster.ca.  Sportsnet ONE will carry all Canadian matches live home and away.

“We are excited to kick off the 2014 World League pool C play in Calgary this weekend,” said Hoag. “We were pleased to have recently qualified for the World Championships in front of a home crowd.’’

Canada is in Pool C this year with the Finns, ranked 30th in the world, number-37 Belgium, and number-14 Australia.  The teams face each other four times in the round robin portion of the tournament officially called the Intercontinental Round. 

The other home Canadian Intercontinental Round matches are June 13-14 in Vancouver against Belgium and June 20-21 in Edmonton against Australia.

The World League has a new format this year with a record 28 countries split into seven pools of four.  Canada must win its pool or place second to Australia to advance to the Group 2 final set for Sydney, Australia July 11-13.  The winner of that Group then advances to the six-country Final Round July 16-20 in Florence Italy.

Information:

FIVB World League media guide: http://www.fivb.org/EN/volleyball/competitions/WorldLeague/2014/MediaGuide/#01

FIVB World League on-line: http://www.fivb.org/EN/volleyball/competitions/WorldLeague/2014/

Canada info: www.volleyball.ca

 

Roster - World League Calgary

Name
#
Hometown 
Pro Team

Position

Perrin, John Gordon
2 Creston, BC
ARKAS Volleyball Club

Left Side/ Attaquant

Lewis, Daniel
3
Oakville,ON

Kedzierzyn-Kozle

Libero

DeRocco, Jason
4
East St. Paul, MB

NANTES Rezé M.V.

Left Side/ Attaquant

Verhoeff, Rudy
5
Calgary, AB
CHAUMONT VB 52
Middle / Centre

Duff, Justin
6
Winnipeg, MB

PertaminaEnergi Jakarta

Middle / Centre

Soonias, Dallas
7 Red Deer, AB
Fujian VC

Outside/ Opposé

Simac, Adam
8
Ottawa, ON

Pallavolo Lugano

Middle / Centre

Schneider, Dustin
9
Winnipeg, MB

Kedzierzyn-Kozle

Setter / Passeur

Van Lankvelt, Toontje
10
Brandon, MB

Asul Volleyball

Left Side/ Attaquant

Schmitt, Gavin
12
Saskatoon, SK

ARKAS Volleyball Club

Outside/ Opposé

Winters, Frederic
15
Victoria, BC

Beijing BAIC Motors

Left Side/ Attaquant

Vigrass, Graham
17
Calgary, AB

Arago de SETE VB

Middle / Centre

Hoag, Nicholas 
18
Sherbrooke, QC

Tours VB

Left Side/ Attaquant

McGovern, Ciaran
20
Grande Prairie, AB

Evivo Duren

Setter / Passeur