Second Loss in Poland

Gavin Schmitt hits against Brazil’s Murilo Endres (Photo: FIVB)

“This team has a lot in perspective for the future, they keep developing”. Bernardo Rezende, Brazil’s head coach's words about Team Canada may have sounded sweet, but the game had a bitter taste for the Canadians on the second day of the second World League weekend, in Katowice, Poland. After winning the first set, the Canucks saw a Brazilian comeback (23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-15). Brazil (ranked number one in the world) had lost to Canada in five sets two weeks ago in Toronto. Team Canada had started the weekend losing 0-3 to Poland (the Canadians also lost 1-3 in Toronto). This Sunday it’s time to play Finland (defeated by 3-0 two weeks ago), at 11:30 a.m. EST. So far, Canada has a 2-3 record in the 2012 WL, placing third in pool B. The 2012 WL has 16 teams divided in four pools.

“Brazil played really well”, said Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “I know they are struggling, but they can still maintain a high level. As much as our play goes, we had some good moments, but we still need to practice a lot. We are gaining experience here. Today we made too many mistakes”.

Brazilian opposite Wallace Souza was the match top scorer with 20 points. Left side Gord Perrin led for Canadians with 16, followed by opposite Gavin Schmitt who scored 15, and left side Fred Winters, 13.

Canada took advantage of some flaws in the Brazilian passing line to get a small advantage in the first set, managing to close it. After that, Brazil took control of the game showing why they are the top ranked team in the world, although missing two key players that stayed in Brazil recovering from injuries. Except for the end of third set, when Brazil made some mistakes in attack, Canada couldn’t do that much.

The fourth set was the worst set Canada played in the WL. In the first technical timeout, Brazil was leading 8-1. When the score was 14-5, Glenn Hoag called timeout and told the players he never wanted to see them playing like that again. Previously, libero Dan Lewis, the most experienced Canadian player, was determined to shake up the team, calling them to play smart. As an example of how bad Team Canada played that set, the second time they scored while receiving happened only in the 14th point, a really low mark in pro volleyball.

After Katowice, the four teams head to Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil.