Canada wasn’t able to take a set from Poland (ranked fourth world wide) today, but the result wasn’t so bad. Once the Poles won with tight scores (26-24, 25-22, 25-23), this Saturday on the second day of the final World League stop for pool B in Tampere, Finland. Canada showed a consistent game on the way for the decisive match against Finland this Sunday, at 11:30 a.m. EST. Later this Saturday the Finns were defeated by Brazil in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-23).
“This was a much better match from us than last weekend. Now we must concentrate to the match against Finland, as they’re a good team and will be playing in front of their fans”, said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. He started with setter Ciaran McGovern once again. The squad’s top scorer in the tournament, opposite Gavin Schmitt was subbed out for the third set to get some rest for tomorrow’s match and also to give his sub, Dallas Soonias, some rhythm. Like he had done in Brazil a week ago, Hoag gave an opportunity to the back-up libero, Blair Bann to play.
Brazil and Poland lead the pool with 26 points, while Canada and Finland have seven points each. Finishing third would not only give Canada more points in the world ranking (Team Canada is number 17), but keep them in the tournament as the two worst fourth places will have to play a qualifier to try to grab a spot in the tournament in 2013. Playing in the World League (an annual tournament) is part of Volleyball Canada’s plan to build a more competitive team on the way to Rio Olympics in 2016. Canada beat Finland 3-0 in the first stop, then lost 2-3 and 0-3.
You can watch Canada vs. Finland on Laola TV: