World League Volleyball: Canada and Australia set to face off in Edmonton

June 19, 2014

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: International volleyball has descended on Edmonton, Alberta, where the Canadian men’s team faces its next opponent, Australia, in 2014 FIVB World League intercontinental round play.

The Australians, also known as the Volleyroos, will meet Canada for the first time in 2014 World League this weekend on June 20 and 21 (7 pm local, also on Sportsnet ONE) at Rexall Place. 

“We haven’t played Australia in a long time, so it will be fun. I think all the teams are pretty equal in our group and it’s going to be two really exciting matches,” said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “Australia has some really good players that are now more experienced from playing in the European leagues, so it should be two good battles.”

So far Canada has faced Finland in Calgary, and the red-and-white went 2-0.  Then the Canadians travelled to Belgium where they went 1-1; only to do the same in the home series in Vancouver against the Belgians this past weekend.

Both Canada and Australia have six matches to play in Pool C of this season’s World League, of which four will be against each other.  Australia last played in World League in 1999.

“We’re happy to be playing in World League after many years of pushing to be here,” said Australia’s coach, Jon Uriarte.  “So far it has been a very rich process for us. We are learning a lot, like what it means to be in World League and to get tougher and perform on the weekends. We have fought every match with a strong wish to win.”

Australia has won two of its last four matches in the World League.  Also in Pool C are Finland and Belgium.

Canada and Australia previously met at the Olympic Qualification Tournament (World) in Tokyo in 2004. Australia won in straight sets en route to qualification for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.