PUNE, India (Aug. 6, 2009) - Canada and Greece battled for the top two slots in Pool H and Canada earned the honor of fighting for the 9th to 12th positions with its second win over Greece at 26-24, 18-25, 25-22, 15-18 in the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior World Championship being held at Pune, India.
China is already ahead with two wins in this group. Canada finished the second phase engagements with two wins and one loss. Greece ended up with one win and two losses.
It was a match of attacks as Canada made 123 spikes and got 53 points. Greece attempted 129 shots, but secured only 54 points. Where Greece went seriously wrong was making 31 errors against Canada’s 24.
For Canada John Perrin was the most successful spiker with 17 points from 42 spikes. DeRocco got 12 points from 22 attempts. Rudy Verhoeff did well in block with four points from 14 attempts. Greece was helped by mainly spiker captain Mitar Tzourits, who collected 24 points from 53 shots. Roumeliotakis scored 13 from 33 spikes.
Greece got off to a flying start and it looked as if the team would knock out Canada from the race. But despite its good defence in the first set and good lead at 8-6 and 16-15 and at set point at 24-23 it failed shockingly as Canada piled the pressure. This turned out to be the decisive battle as the loss of first set affected Greece’s game further in the next three sets. Perrin spiked well for Canada at the finishing stages.
The first set shock rattled Greece which retrieved well and spiked superbly through the towering Tsourits and Canada was struggling to put things together in the second set. Greece took off beautifully, surging to a 8-7 and 16-11 lead with good block too. In fact,Greece’s overall game was so good that Canada virtually gave up the second set.
Despite poor start in the third set Canada, trailing 5-8, cut down the lead to 15-16. Perri, Vigrass and DeRocco spiked and blocked better. But it was only after equalizing at 17 that Canada was seen in better mood. Canada showed its real spirit at this juncture making Greece sweat for every point. Of course it was frustration for Canada as Greece was retrieving all the rebounds well.
Having gone up 2-1 Canada was seen in a better frame of mind and in the fourth set Canada led from start to finish, taking 8-4 and 16-14 lead. Greece was too tired because of long rallies and its main spiker Tzourits was too retired and hit out in the finishing stages.