Team Canada kept up with their winning ways at the 2014 FIVB World Championships with a convincing 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-22) win over Egypt this morning, improving their record to 2-1.
Gavin Schmitt was an absolute monster, going 13-for-19 and hitting a ferocious .648, adding three aces and a block to lead all scorers with 17-points. He pretty much single-handedly won the 1st set himself; scoring four kills and two aces while going on two serving runs that kept him at the baseline for nine of Canada’s 25 points.
But while Gavin was in beast mode, the rest of the team was the calmest, most confident version of the National team we’ve seen this year. It was undeniably a team win.
Right from the get-go, their serve/block game was running without a flaw. Gavin made his presence known early with two quick kills, then at 4-4, went on a five-point serving run, increasing the lead to 9-4. Canada’s block was present early as well, forming a literal wall in front of an Egyptian team struggling to receive serve. Schmitt got the ball again at 16-12 and went on another run, widening the gap to 20-12. They closed it out at 25-14, with the team finishing with four aces and four blocks alone in the first set.
The second was the same story. The boys in Red and White held a three point lead, 8-5 at the break, and never looked back. It was Gord Perrin this time who gave Canada the boost, scoring an ace during a three point run of his own that put Canada ahead 15-9. While Schmitt still scored four points in the set, T.J. Sanders spread the ball perfectly, hooking up Nick Hoag with four kills and Perrin another three. Their wasn’t the bevy of aces we saw in the first, the serving pressure was essential to the team adding another three blocks.
The third stop saw a drop of focus and an increase in sloppy play, leading to a boost in confidence for Egypt. Canada started missing serves early, allowing the Egyptians to create some rhythm in their offence and take their first real lead of the match at 12-11. Egypt was fired up and for a bit it looked like they might make the match a little longer. But Canada fought back, tying it up at 19-19 and jumping ahead 21-19, only to give it up and find it tied at 22-22. Finally, Justin Duff got a huge 1-on-1 block in the middle, that was followed up by a ill-timed setter dump that landed out to give Canada match point. No time was wasted as Graham Vigrass served the ace to finish the match, closing out the third set 25-22. Captain Fred Winters was vital in the third as well, coming in off the bench and providing veteran leadership while scoring three times.
Canada improves to 2-1, sitting in fourth in pool C with five points. China sits one point ahead with six, but still have Russia and the Canucks remaining. Bulgaria, whom Canada defeated on Wednesday, sits in second (given that Russia beats Mexico) with seven points, but have yet to face Russia. The No. 2 in the world face Mexico today and will be looking to stay perfect and increase their point-total to nine, putting them atop of the group.
You can watch Team Canada again tomorrow morning, at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT when they face familiar faces Mexico. Volleyball Source will have all your live streams for your viewing pleasure.