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We have things to work on: Canada coach Glenn Hoag


Team Canada pose for a photo ahead of their 2014 World League opener, a 3-0 win over Finland Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Canada, May 31, 2014 – After opening 2014 World League play with a 3-0 victory over Finland Saturday night on home court in Calgary, Canada head coach Glenn Hoag pointed out that both sides have room for improvement as the competition goes on.

“Both teams are working things out, it’s obvious. This is what World League is at the beginning,” said Hoag. “The game grows better as we go; we have a lot of things to work on. Our serving wasn’t great as Thomas said. We didn’t serve very hard, and that’s one part of the game where we need to improve is put hard serves in. Second thing is our small play. We need to polish it. We need to be better at setting high balls by non-setters.”

“First, I hope the libero is OK. It looked pretty bad out there, so best of luck to him,” said Canada captain Frederic Winters, referring to Finland libero Lauri Kerminen, who was carried off the court early in the second set with a leg injury. Winters was pleased with his team’s start. “It was a good way to start the World League. We did the same thing last year, started really strong in our home matches and then the theme was we didn’t do so well the second night. So I think the guys are really aware of that. We’ll be really prepared for tomorrow night. We want to take the maximum points as possible, but I think Finland’s capable of playing much better, especially in service. We were able to stabilize our reception pretty good. I expect stronger serves from them tomorrow. I was happy with our performance for sure. It was a good start.”

Finland coach coach Tuomas Sammelvuo had similar thoughts to his Canadian counterpart.

“We know that physically, they are stronger than us so we need to find other solutions,” Sammelvuo said. “First of all service and reception, we have to be absolutely better. We didn’t serve as we have been serving lately and we made too many mistakes. That’s something that we have to focus on for sure. And as our captain said, be smarter on the attack. These are the main two points that I think were the keys of the game today. Canada, I don’t think they were serving too hard. They just played block and defence. Some guys of course they served hard. We have to be able to pass better on those ‘medium serves,’ let’s say. We will come back tomorrow and fight for every ball because we can always do something until the ball is on the floor.”

Finland captain Antti Siltala praised Canada’s performance.

“Congratulations, Canada played a great game,” he said. “I’m really sad and disappointed not only with my performance, but that we lost one guy. We don’t know how bad, but it’s always sad when someone gets injured. I hope it’s nothing bad. But anyway, the young guys came in and played great. We got really close to winning the set. We were a little bit behind in the attack. Mostly the attack, also a bit in reception. Too many mistakes in our serves, so we have to be smarter tomorrow.”

Canada and Finland square off once again Sunday night in Calgary.


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