Early Lead Gives Belgium the Edge Over Canada's Women's Team in Grand Prix Action

Leuven, Belgium, August 1, 2014 – Belgium sealed its second victory in as many weeks over Canada on Friday winning in straight sets (25-17, 25-20, 25-19) as the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix rolled into Leuven, Belgium.

It was only the second time the two teams have met in an international tournament. Canada has yet to win a set against the Belgians, but the Canadian squad is learning a lot from each Grand Prix match.
 
“We had a very bad start in the first set, but a better start in the second and the third set,” said Canada’s coach, Arnd Ludwig.  “Our quality improved and we played better than last week against the Belgians. For us, it is the first appearance with this team on an international level, while the Belgians had a bronze medal at the European Championships, and they have a very good team.”
 
This was Belgium’s third win in a row in this year’s tournament. Lise Van Hecke topped the scoring with 23 for the hosts including two aces and three blocks
 
Belgium had a convincing start with 10 points in a row off the service of Frauke Dirickx. Even a Canadian time out couldn’t hold the Belgians back as they reached 11-1. Changes to the Canadian line-up, an improved block and some individual Belgian faults helped bring the visitors back into the match at 11-6. But the power of Van Hecke, the blocks and attacks of Laura Heyrman and the clear view of captain Charlotte Leys allowed Belgium to push on and win the set. 

The start of the second set was a different story, however, as Belgium committed fault after fault to gift the Canadians a 8-2 lead. But the home side clawed its way back for the win.

It was a fairly even battle in the opening stages of the third, with each side going toe-to-toe to reach 9-9. A focus on its blocking game saw Belgium shift ahead and seal up the victory. 
 
Captain Brittney Page of Vernon, BC, was Canada’s top contributor with 14 points.   

With reports courtesy of www.fivb.org