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Canada has an impressive start to Men’s World Championship

Ruse, Bulgaria, September 12, 2018: Canada overcame first-match jitters to decisively win its 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship opener 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-18) over the Netherlands today.

It’s just good to get the win out of the way and get into our rhythm at the World Championship," said Nicholas Hoag, who topped the scoring sheet for Canada with 12 points, including four aces. "Today, at least, I was a little nervous and I think a few of the guys felt the same way, but we looked focused and we applied the game plan, and I think that’s what it takes against any team we’re going to play."

Sharone Vernon-Evans contributed 11 points for Canada; while opposite Abdel-Aziz Nimir of the Netherlands was overall match top scorer. Tomorrow, Canada faces Egypt at 5 pm local time (10 am ET).
 
Canada’s head coach Stephane Antiga was also relieved with today’s performance. He was happy the team carried some momentum from their friendly match win over Iran last weekend in Slovenia.
 
"The first game is never easy for any team in any tournament – the players are always a bit nervous and anxious, this is normal – but the approach to the match was very good and they played well in all elements of the game," Antiga said after today’s win. "I used almost all of my players, so this is very positive and important, and I’d say this is a perfect start to the World Championship. … Everybody is ready mentally and physically; I trust all my players – and we are happy with this opening match."

According to FIVB.com, this is first win for Canada against the Netherlands at the World Championship, after the North Americans lost the previous two meetings in 1978 and 1990. The Netherlands is currently lower ranked (25) than Canada’s sixth in the world.
 
About the tournament:
The 19th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships will take place in both Italy and Bulgaria from September 9 to 30, 2018. 
 
The tournament will feature a total of 24 teams. There will be two teams from South America, four from Asia, 10 (including the hosts and defending champions Poland) from Europe, three from Africa and five from the North, Central America and Caribbean zone.

In the first round, the 24 teams will be spread across four pools of six teams playing in a round-robin system. The top four teams from each pool will advance to the second round featuring four pools of four teams playing in four cities.
 
Roster:
#1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2 Gord Perrin, Creston, BC
#3 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
#4 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#5 Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
#7 Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
#8 Jay Blankenau, Sherwood Park, AB
#9 Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB
#10 Sharone Vernon-Evans, Scarborough, ON
#11 Daniel Jansen VanDoorn, Langley, BC
#16 Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
#17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
#18 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#20 Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON

Staff:
Head coach: Stephane Antiga
Assistant coach: Dan Lewis
Team manager: Julien Boucher
Therapists: Melissa Healy, Luc Campbell
Statistician: Lionel Bonnaure
 
How to follow:

Official web site: http://italy-bulgaria2018.fivb.com/en
Official web cast: https://welcome.volleyballworld.tv/ (by subscription)
Follow Volleyball Canada on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook #maplevolleys
Follow the men’s team on Instagram @maplevolleys
 
Media contact: Jackie Skender