Gavin Schmitt, Gord Perrin and Glenn Hoag have put themselves in a hole as Arkas Izmir crumpled for a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 15-17) loss to Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle in the first leg of their CEV Cup quarterfinal match.
The Canadians struggled from the first serve: Perrin with his passing game and Schmitt on the attack. Head Coach Glenn Hoag called timeout after Schmitt let a ball drop uncontested to make the score 17-16 in favour of Zaksa.
“If you want to win this you’re going to have to fight,” said Hoag during the timeout. “We’re better than these guys but standing around won’t help.”
Arkas was unable to respond however, losing the set 25-23.
They came out firing in the 2nd set while limiting their unforced errors. Arkas’ middles, especially Mustafa Koç, were virtually unstoppable through the first two sets. Koç registered seven points on five kills and two Blocks. Their lead was always four or five points throughout the set. They never trailed until the 25 point mark when Zaksa completed a huge comeback and continued to take the set 27-25.
Schmitt and Perrin were on the bench to start the 3rd set after a lacklustre performance through the first two. Schmitt put up nine points off seven kills and two aces but he also had nine errors. Perrin had eight points off four kills, two blocks and two aces. He had 6 errors.
Schmitt took to Twitter following the match to apologize to fans saying “I think that might have been the worst match I have ever played, sorry to all the fans who watched that…"
Early in the 3rd set Zaksa converted a kick save and from then on it was all Zaksa as they rolled to an easy 27-17 win. Coach Hoag was visibly livid on the bench after his team’s performance.
The leading scorer in the match was Lucas Loh of Zaksa with 15 points, 14 of which were kills. He also added an ace.
Arkas has a tough road ahead if they plan on moving on to the semi-finals. They will host Zaksa in Izmir next Thursday (January 22nd) where they'll have to win by a score of 3-0 or 3-1 to force a Golden Set - one set to 15, winner takes all.