Team Canada picked up three big points and increased their winning streak to six-straight matches with a 3-0 (27-25, 27-25, 25-19) win over Finland at the 2014 FIVB World Championships in Poland.
Gavin Schmitt (Saskatoon, Sask.) led all scorers in the match with an incredible 21 kills while hitting a devastating .677 in the win. Gord Perrin (Creston, B.C.) and Nick Hoag (Sherbrooke, Que.) added 10 and 9 points respectively, while Adam Simac (Ottawa, Ont.) continued his stellar play at the net with four blocks.
Team Finland and its fans must be thinking “what just happened” after controlling both the first and the second set until late in the sets when Canada took over.
In the first, Canada jumped out to a 8-6 lead but Finland quickly capitalized on some sloppy play, allowing Matti Oivanen to rack up some blocks for the team in blue. Once Canada settled down the errors, the offence took over. Schmitt lit up the stats sheet with eight kills alone, while the team totaled 19 for the set. It looked like Finland was going to take an early lead until Canada took over at 23-22 and fought to close out the first 27-25.
The second was another seesaw battle with Canada leading early but Finland taking control just before the second technical timeout, leading 16-8 at the break. The momentum was all in Finland's favour until late in the set when a Gord Perrin slam tying things up at 23 brought some life into the Canadian squad. A few inspired digs from Dan Lewis in the next play brought Canada ahead 24-23, finally managing to take a stranglehold on the match at 27-25.
In the third, it was clear that Finland’s fire had been doused when Gavin rattled off a pair of kills to open the set, and the boys in black never looked back. For the first time in the match, they led throughout the entire set, up 8-4 and 16-9 at the breaks before clinching the win at 25-19.
Canada will benefit from an off-day tomorrow before getting back on the court this weekend. They will face World No. 1 Brazil on Saturday and Germany on Sunday. Sunday's match could very-well be the deciding match for both teams.
As always, stay tuned to Volleyball Source for all your Team Canada and World Championships needs!