World League: Canada Pulls it Together for a Five-Set Win Over Belgium
June 06, 2014 – Canada pulled off a five-set win (25-22, 21-25, 17-25, 25-20, 14-16) against Belgium as the team entered its second weekend of 2014 FIVB World League competition in Liège, Belgium.
Despite the win, Canada got off to a slow start, and head coach Glenn Hoag said his players still need to improve. “It was a good game,” he said in the post-match press conference. “Belgium’s (Frank) Depestele is one of the best setters in the world. So it was a difficult match for us. We still have to improve – especially on serve, which is not our strongest point. The Belgians played with discipline, patience, good passing and a good volley. It was nice to play in front of this crowd, even if they whistled on our serves. The victory is important, because we have to learn from this kind of matches.”
Belgian coach Dominique Baeyens also had mixed feelings: “We had too many much ups and downs,” he said. “We played at a much better level than against Australia. This kind of match is why we have to play in the World League."
Gord Perrin of Creston, B.C., was Canada’s top scorer with 18 and Saskatoon’s Gavin Schmitt contributed 16 points. Ottawa native Adam Simac, in his 2014 World League debut, was in fine form with 14 points – including seven blocks.
Belgium, also known as the Red Dragons, saw standout performances from Bram Van den Dries and Sam Deroo, who had 17 points each.
Canada is now 3-0 in World League play, after banking two matches against Finland last weekend in Calgary, Alberta.
Canada’s next game is in Antwerp on Sunday, and will be live on Sportsnet ONE at 9:55 am Eastern (please check your local listings). Both teams then travel to Vancouver for two games – June 13 and 14 - at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sport Centre. Tickets are still available at www.ticketmaster.ca
For more information on World League in Canada: www.volleyball.ca
Media contact: Jackie Skender