Canada off to a Solid Start in 2017 World Volleyball League

The Canadian National Men’s Volleyball Team has made some significant progress in recent years. Just four years ago, Canada shocked Russia in five sets in the final round of the 2013 World Volleyball League in Argentina and then at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Canada finished a very impressive second place in the Pool A standings (where they beat Italy, the United States and Mexico) before losing to Russia in the quarterfinals.

The recent momentum from years past has carried forward into 2017. Despite the retirement of opposite Gavin Schmitt, Team Canada played solid volleyball this past weekend in Serbia, where they came away with victories over Belgium and the United States.

On Friday, Team Canada beat Belgium 25-22, 19-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-13 and then the United States 23-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11. Even though the Canadians did not register the maximum number of points available in the victories (three points available for wins in four sets or less with two points going to a five set win), there were a lot of positives from the Canadian play over the weekend.

It was a coming out party for Sharone Vernon-Evans of Scarborough, Ontario. At only 18 years of age, Vernon-Evans has an excellent serve that will be very beneficial for Team Canada in the years to come. This is also now Gord Perrin’s team. With Schmitt retiring, it is now Perrin’s responsibility to lead Canada offensively. He did just that on the weekend. In Canada’s win over Belgium, Perrin led Canada with 18 spikes and in the win over the United States, he led Canada with four aces.

Even though Canada lost in four sets to Serbia on Sunday, they still close out the weekend with a very respectable record of two wins and one loss. Canada next plays Brazil in Bulgaria on Friday.

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