Canada experiences its first loss of 2014 FIVB World League

June 08, 2014: It was a match full of ups and downs, but Canada ended on the down side of this one, as Belgium won in four sets 33-31, 25-12, 21-25, 25-23 today.  This is Canada’s first loss of the 2014 FIVB World League intercontinental round, and the team is now 3-1, heading back home to again face the Belgians next weekend in Vancouver.

Canada looked strong at the outset of the match, and both teams fought hard throughout the first set, which included a thrilling 50-second-long rally.  Finally, Belgium took this set 33-31, setting the tone for their play today.

In set two, Canada couldn’t catch a break and then fell apart, while Belgium took off and cruised to take the set by a whopping 13 points.   A rebound in the third  led Canada to win this set, but they couldn’t sustain the momentum dropping the fourth after a valiant fight.

Canada’s Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, who entered the game at the beginning of the third set, had 14 points for Canada, as did Victoria’s Fred Winters. Adam Simac of Ottawa had a strong game ending up contributing 10 points to Canada’s effort.

Belgium’s Bram Van den Dries led with 24 kills for his team, also known as the Red Dragons, pleasing the 4000 fans at Antwerp’s Lotto Arena. 

Canada won over Belgium in five sets on Friday, therefore gaining only two of three possible points. Belgium gets a full three points for today’s four-set win, and is now the leader of Pool C with a three-point advantage on Canada and even seven on Australia and Finland.

Next weekend’s games (June 13 and 14) at the UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre promise to be exciting as Canada seeks to get back on top of its game.