World League: Canada is defeated Down Under in an Inconsistent Performance

Sydney, Australia, July 05:  Team Canada lost its first match of a weekend series to Australia in five sets (25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-7) at the Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday.

Team Canada came out strong to win the first set, but could not keep the momentum going and was unable to find success in sets two and three. In the fourth set, an energized Canadian squad adjusted its game plan to take over at the net and scored on numerous stuff blocks. However, it wasn't enough to keep them going in the fifth set, where fatigue showed. Team Australia took advantage of the disorganized formation and secured the match win.

“I’m not satisfied at all. We lacked concentration in tonight’s match. (Gavin) Schmitt and (Dan) Lewis were the most consistent players but it wasn't enough, “ said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag.  Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon, SK, was the best Canadian scorer with 33 points, almost half of the team’s successful attacks.  Australia’s most visible players were Paul Carroll and Paul Sanderson with 17 and 16 points respectively, contributing to the Volleyroos’ victory.

Team Australia demonstrated a strong performance, creating confusion for the Canadian defense and service reception. “We are incredibly happy to get the win and to finish strong just before the finals of the group.  It gives us the confidence to know that we can play at that level,” said Aidan Zingel, Team Australia’s Captain.

The Canadian line up has significantly changed over the last month as younger players were called to step up and to sub in for injured players. Canada is without setter Dustin Schneider, left sides Gord Perrin and Nick Hoag, and middle Rudy Verhoeff, who are all back in Canada recovering from their respective injuries. Steve Marshall and Jay Blankeneau joined the ranks of Team Canada in the last weeks and both played in tonight’s match.

“Players are tired and we had to deal with numerous injuries over the last few weeks. We will watch some video and refocus the group for tomorrow’s game. Our key players need some rest in order to be ready for the World Championships,” said Hoag.

Two weekends ago, the teams faced off in Edmonton, Alberta, for the last World League weekend in Canada. Australia came back from a 2-0 set deficit to win the first match in five sets. Canada came back strong the next day to secure a 3-1 win in front of 4,000 home-crowd fans at Rexall Place.

This is Canada’s last weekend of competition in the World League 2014. Yesterday, Belgium took the needed point against Finland in order to secure the first spot in Pool C in FIVB Volleyball World League. The Belgian team will be competing in the Final 4 of the second group of World League 2014, also taking place in Sydney. The winner of the Final 4 will earn a berth to compete against the volleyball powerhouses from Group 1 in Florence, Italy, later this month.

Team Canada will seek a win in their last game of 2014 World League tomorrow against the ”Volleyroos” at 4pm local time. The match will be broadcast on Sportsnet One at 1pm Eastern time.


#             Name    Hometown

#1           Tyler Sanders - London, ON

#3           Daniel Lewis - Oakville,ON

#4           Jason DeRocco - East St. Paul, MB

#6           Justin Duff - Winnipeg, MB

#7           Dallas Soonias - Red Deer, AB

#8           Adam Simac - Ottawa, ON

#10         Toonje Van Lankvelt - Brandon, MB

#12         Gavim Schmitt - Saskatoon, SK

#15         Frederic Winters - Victoria, BC

#17         Graham Vigrass - Calgary, AB

#21         Jay Blankneau - Sherwood Park, AB

#22         Steve Marshall - Abbotsford, BC


Photos available at:

Media contact in Australia:

Ariane Thibault