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Canadian fans get a taste of international volleyball at its finest

Ottawa, June 10, 2018 - The U.S. dashed Canada’s hopes for a home victory with a 3-1 (23-26, 25-13, 2 5-19, 25-20) win today, but that barely dampened the spirits of the enthusiastic and supportive Volleyball Nations League audience at the Arena at TD Place.

Stephen Maar was again a threat for Canada with 11 spikes and three aces; and Nicholas Hoag, Jason DeRocco and Graham Vigrass also strongly contributed to Canada’s offensive effort.

Match stats and photos can be found here: http://www.volleyball.world/en/men/schedule/8992-canada-usa/post

Canada’s head coach Stephane Antiga reflected on today’s match: “It’s a pity. We won the first set, but the U.S. just played better in the other sets.
We did however play better than yesterday against Germany, so there’s some satisfaction in that. We had some problems, but we fought, but I really enjoyed our game today – it was much better than yesterday. For the next VNL leg, we’ll have to keep working, keep playing, keep believing. Everything is possible. We need to keep playing hard and consistent. We will win more games!”

Benjamin Patch was a game changer for the American team with 18 points, followed by Matt Anderson and Max Holt with 15 each. There was a measure of revenge for our southern neighbours, as Canada had taken bronze over the US last year in the World League finals in Brazil.
 
Canada’s setter and captain, TJ Sanders, said: “They are a big serving team, kind of like Germany was yesterday. They were bombing in their serves, and they’re a very physical team. We’ll have to adjust moving forward. Going 1-2 on the weekend will be tough to overcome. We’re in a tougher spot, we’ll need to work hard.”

Canada now has to re-group for six games on the road - starting against Olympic champions Brazil in Bulgaria on Friday.

Full results and rankings can be found here: http://www.volleyball.world/en/men/resultsandranking/round1

As of today, Canada sits eighth (out of 16) with five wins and four losses in 2018 Volleyball Nations League. This weekend, Canada beat Australia 3-0, but fell to Germany and the USA, both in four sets. In the earlier match in Ottawa today, Australia upset Germany, winning in five sets.

Canadian fans enjoyed their first taste of the new Volleyball Nations League with enthusiasm. “I thought it was an amazing three days of top-level volleyball,” said Volleyball Canada’s President and CEO Mark Eckert. "The partnership between Volleyball Canada, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and Region Six of the Ontario Volleyball Association was an important factor in the success of this event.  Thank you to all involved, including all our government and commercial partners – it was truly a great mix of international sport, entertainment and community involvement!”

In addition to the volleyball action, the Australian DJ duo NERVO was also on hand to debut a new track – Worlds Collide, an anthem created exclusively for the FIVB’s Volleyball Nations League. 
 
Roster (Ottawa)

1 - TJ Sanders, London, ON (setter)
4 - Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC (outside hitter)
5 - Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB (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)
16 - Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC  (opposite)
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: Steve Kingsman / Freestyle Photography