The Friday night unbeaten streak remains with a convincing 3-0 (25-19, 25-10, 25-18) win over Korea tonight.
For the first time this year, Canada looked as they were in complete control throughout the night. For the first time in World League, they managed to run an offense without relying on the big numbers usually put up by Gavin.
While Korean Kwang-In Jeon led the match in scoring with 17 points, it was the Canadians even point production that really stood out. Captain Fred Winters led the team with 14 points (7 kills, 6 block, 1 ace), while Gord Perrin (10 kills, 1 block, 2 aces) and Dallas Soonias (10 kills, 2 blocks) also came up big throughout the match.
At the end of the night, Canada’s size and blocking were too much for the Koreans, posting 15 stuff blocks on the night. This number doesn’t also represent the many times that the Canadian block got a touch that converted into a dig.
While tonight’s match leaves a warm, happy feeling, after the passed two weekends, the next match has your stomach in knots. Not only will Korea come back much harder than they did in this match, but the past two Saturday matches have been lackluster at best. The Canadians will have to come out with even more energy than tonight’s match.
Luckily for those, like me, who are worried for tomorrow’s match, there are plenty of reasons to be carefully optimistic.
For the first time this World League, the boys and red and white didn’t wait for the match to be handed them. While both wins against The Netherlands and Korea were marred by an enormous amount of opposing team errors, tonight’s match was a Canadian domination, with Korea only committing 18 errors, while Canada led in every department.
We saw defence tonight that has been omitted from the Canadian game, and along with that, a transition game that seemed like it belonged. Even our serving was consistent, causing stress to the Korean serve receive all night long.
They finally played the part of the bully, and beat down on a team. It was fantastic to see, even better when you consider the obvious absences of Gavin Schmitt and Justin Duff.
But you can't help but be anxious about a second match against a fresher, and more well adjusted Korean squad.
So the telling tale well they way they react on Saturday night. Either way, it's going to be a show, so come see Canada's final FIVB World League game at home. 7 p.m. at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga,