Canada volleys way forward with win

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

OTTAWA - Canada took a giant step towards returning to the FIVB World League next year, defeating Slovakia 28-26, 25-17, 25-17 at Scotiabank Place Saturday night to win the two-match first-round qualifying series in comeback style.

With the victory, the Canadians take the series based on total sets for and against. The Slovakians won the first match of the series on Friday night in four sets.

“It was finally our time to show we are a good team too," said Canadian team captain Fred Winters of Victoria, B.C., who led Canada with 17 points.

‘“We are ready to start having some strong international results and this was a great way to head into next month in which we’ll have more big challenges."

In the first set, barely a point ever separated the two teams.

With the score tied at 26-26, a Gavin Schmitt smash and a block by Ottawa’s Adam Simac put Canada up 1-0 in sets.

With some needed confidence, the Canadians steamrolled over the Slovakians in the second set, then overcame a 10-13 deficit in the third to seal the match and the series before an appreciative crowd of nearly 2,000.

“For us this was a very big accomplishment," said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag, of Gatineau.

Canada will now face Puerto Rico next month in Kingston, in another two-set series, with the winner qualifying for the 2012 World League. The last time Canada competed in the World League was in 2007 when it placed 13th.


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