The fans at the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland couldn’t complain this Sunday as they had the chance to watch two five-setters in the final day of the second World League stop. News wasn't good for Canadian volleyball fans as Team Canada lost their third match in three sets, this time to Finland, an opponent the Canucks had beaten 3-0 in Toronto. The Finns won 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 26-28, 15-8, in two and a half hours. After losing the first two sets, Canada showed some strength to tie the game but lost in tie-break.
“We lost the first two sets very easily” remarked Canada’s head coach Glenn Hoag. “We had to make some changes and replacements and I am proud of the result. We fought for every point and we lost in the end because of small problems”. Finland's Mikko Oivanen topped all scorers with 33 points while the best for Canada was Toon Van Lankvelt, with 19 points. Gord Perrin added 17 points and Gavin Schmitt, 16.
Later the Poles needed two hours and forty minutes to beat Brazil 3-2 (26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-10), in the best match of pool B so far. The Polish team got an important push from a 11,000 fanatic fans that packed the hall, while Brazil seemed to miss Gilberto “Giba” Godoy and Leandro Vissotto, two of their stars that remained in Brazil recovering from injuries.
“Team Poland is doing a great job, players and staff. It was a tough match in front of an amazing audience. We lost, but we did all that we could. Poland deserved this victory”, said Brazil’s head coach Bernardo Rezende. Poland’s head coach, Italian Andrea Anastasi, affirmed they learned a lot from that match. “It was a really interesting match, important for us. The boys believe in our team and that’s extremely important”.
After Katowice the four teams head to Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil where they play on June 8-10.
Here you can check the four WL pools standings: