The boys are back! Both literally and figuratively as they returned home to Canada to defeat Belgium handily 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-21) less than a week after losing to them in Antwerp.
With the win, Canada improves it’s World League record to 4-1 and sits tied for first in Pool C with Belgium. Two of our National team’s victories were won in five sets, which only awards the winning team two points while the losing team gets one.
The win showed what this team can be when they’re detail oriented and firing on all cylinders; absolutely terrifying. Here's a few numbers from the match:
21 for 12: Gavin Schmitt was in absolute beast mode right from the beginning and dominated the match. While his 16 kills were just another days work for the 6'10 RS, the three blocks and two aces he added on top are even more impressive. His serving pressure is becoming more consistent, and we even saw him make a few digs as well.
13: Number of errors committed by Team Canada. When you consider that when Canada bested Belgium 3-2 a week ago they committed 49, this squeaky clean performance was a big reason for their walking away with 3 points.
12: Number of blocks for Team Canada. Once again, Canada's success on the scoreboard seems to be defined by their success at the net. Five different players chipped in with blocks tonight and Adam Simac finished recorded as many blocks in the first set (3) as Belgium did in the entire match. (He finished with 4)
1: Number of matches left against Belgium. While we lead the series 2-1, we remain tied with them atop Pool C. The final match between the two may be the make or break match for Team Canada. Winning means sitting in the divers seat at the halfway point, while losing leaves us hoping for a Belgian loss. One is also the Sportsnet channel on which you can watch the game.
What's important about that last number is their is away you can help that. The Doug Mitchell Arena holds just over 5,000 people, and tonight's attendance was probably just over 2,000. That means there's 3,000 some seats left sitting open just waiting for you to come hang out. There were times at match where I completely forgot I wasn't in Ontario. And that, my Vancouverite friends, should be a cause for concern.
Game two goes down at 5 p.m. PT. at the Doug Mitchell Sports Arena on the UBC campus. If you're not in the Vancouver, you can watch it on Sportsnet One, or visit our World League homepage for livestreams. But otherwise, we'll see you there.
(Now here's our post-match interview with Captain Fred Winters)