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Serbia blocks Canada’s hopes for a winning weekend

Jiangmen, China, June 22, 2018 - Serbia swept Canada today 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-17), putting the Canadian team in a tough spot in the final weekend of Volleyball Nations League pool play.

Serbia arrived in China in sixth, the final qualifying spot to move to the next round and now improves its chances. Canada sat in eighth (out of 16). The loss sees Canada move to 6-7. The VNL finals will be held in France, July 4 to 8.
 
Current results and rankings: http://www.volleyball.world/en/men/resultsandranking/round1
 
In today’s match, Serbian middle blocker Srecko Lisinac was a factor with 16 points. Lisinac's input - which included three blocks and five aces - helped keep the Canadians at bay early, before the world's 11th ranked team continued to build and powered away in the final two sets.
 
Also making a difference for Serbia was Uros Kovacevic (14 points) and opposite Aleksandar Atanasijevic (12 points) and a block count, which ended up 10-1 in Serbia’s favour.
 
Canada started strong in the first set, but couldn’t hold on to any momentum. Gavin Schmitt had a match-high 17 points, and Nick Hoag was able to contribute seven points.
 
The slight consolation is that the remaining matches in China look easier for Canada - on paper at least.
 
Canadians face hosts China on Saturday and Japan on Sunday, and Serbia meets Japan tomorrow.

Full match report, stats and photos here: http://www.volleyball.world

Roster 

1 - TJ Sanders, London, ON (setter)
4 - Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC (outside hitter)
5 - Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB (middle blocker)
6 - Justin Duff, Winnipeg, MB (middle blocker)
7 - Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON (outside hitter)
8 - Jay Blankenau, Sherwood Park, AB (setter)
9 - Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB (outside hitter)
12 - Gavin Schmitt, Saskatoon, SK (opposite)
13 - Ryley Barnes, Edmonton, AB (outside hitter)
15 - Bryan Duquette, St. Thomas, ON (libero)
17 - Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB (middle blocker)
18 - Bradley Gunter, Comox, BC (opposite)
19 - Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB (libero)
20 - Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON (middle blocker)

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About Volleyball Nations League
In both the men's and women's leagues, the 16 teams in each gender will compete first in round robin format. With a total of 260 matches played in the tournament, each team will play a minimum of 15 matches and each core nation will host at least one pool. There will be one combined standings table across all pools for each gender. In the men's and women's competition, the top five teams of the standings will join the hosts for the finals.  #VNL
 
Volleyball Canada
Jackie Skender
Director, Communications
613.794.7676
jskender@volleyball.ca

Photo: FIVB