World League: Canada suffers a blow in 3-0 loss to Finland
June 27, 2014, Tampere, Finland. – Although Canada kicked off its World League campaign with two victories over Finland in Calgary, it was a different story today in Tampere, as the Finns dominated to win 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 26-24).
“I think Finland played really well, and I think they did everything perfectly – from serve to receive, execution on their offence; and on our side we executed poorly, and there was a big lack of focus and patience,” explained Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag. “Overall, they played much better than we did.”
It was a promising start, as opposite Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, Sask., helped Canada to 6-8 lead early in the first set. However, Finland rebounded and didn’t really look back.
Despite some bright and exciting moments in the close third set: “I think it was all downhill from the turning point in the first set,” said Canada’s captain Fred Winters of Victoria, B.C., after the disappointing loss at the Hakametsä Ice Hall.
Finland´s Olli-Pekka Ojansivu led his team with 16 points. Canada´s Schmitt got the best points tally overall, 18.
Canada was without setter Dustin Schneider, left side Gord Perrin, and middle Rudy Verhoeff, who is also heading home after sustaining an ankle injury earlier this week in Finland.
Brought into the travelling team’s mix this week were Steve Marshall (Abbotsford, BC) and Jay Blankenau (Sherwood Park, AB) who played today in his first World League match ever.
Today’s result hurts Canada’s overall World League effort, as the team needs the points to catch Belgium in order to win this pool. Belgium beat Australia today 1-3 in Adelaide and plays the Aussie Volleyroos again on Saturday.
Canada plays Finland again tomorrow (June 28) at the same venue in Tampere, where the home crowd will be proudly looking for another strong performance from its team.
Said Finland’s coach, Tuomas Sammelvuo: “Overall, it was a big victory for us.”
Photos available at: www.fivb.org