World League Volleyball: Belgium Rebounds with a 3-1 Victory Over Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, June 14, 2014 – Belgium took down Canada 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19) on Saturday night, and regained first place in Pool C of the FIVB World League.
After looking disinterested in yesterday’s game Belgium was able to rebound in a big way on Saturday. Bram Van De Dries and Sam Deroo led the way offensively for Belgium, collecting 23 and 17 points respectively. Van De Dries was also a difference maker for Belgium from the service line tonight, as he rattled off three aces in the win.
“We played better than yesterday, that’s for sure,” said Belgium, team captain, Frank Depestele. “All the players yesterday were very disappointed; we travelled 20 hours to make a performance like this. So I think we proved today that we could play well.  We put Canada into problems with our serve and block and defense. I think it is important to have a performance like we did today to give us confidence for the future.”
The serve and pass game was a struggle for Canada all match long and it prevented them from having any kind of offensive rhythm tonight.
“Congratulations to Belgium. They did what we knew they would do,” said Canada’s captain Fred Winters (Victoria, BC). “I think a big key for us was the start of the sets. Going down three, four to one, five to one; it’s too big of a hole. It stops us from playing aggressively and that hurt us today. We started really poorly in almost all the sets and they’re a young team but they’re really experienced. They all play in good leagues so once they get that four or five point lead it’s really hard to make up so that was what hurt us tonight.”
Belgium showed how dangerous they could be when playing with a lead and the pressure they put on Canada’s passing proved to be too much.
"We did have some problems in receiving but some choices were terrible,” said Canada’s Head Coach, Glenn Hoag. “On some occasions our setting was bad, we didn’t allow our guys to hit the ball high enough. We cannot rely on Gavin (Schmitt) all the time. It’s impossible at this level of play, because then it becomes too simple. Our offense was too simple, and Belgium just deserved to win. They dominated the three sets they won.”
Gavin Schmitt (Saskatoon, SK) had a big night for Canada in a losing cause, grabbing 18 kills, two service aces and two solo blocks but, as coach Hoag previously mentioned there was little contribution from the rest of the Canadian squad. Gordon Perrin (Creston, BC) was the only other Canadian player with double digit points, finishing with 12.

Canada will now turn its attention to Australia next weekend in Edmonton, as the team looks ti rebound from tonight’s loss in Vancouver. Canada is second in Pool C with 10 points trailing Belgium, who leads the way with 13, after tonight’s win.

Report by Kyle Donen for Volleyball Canada