FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Canada claim historic Russia win to open up Pool E


Canada had lost all three previous encounters against Russia

Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 19, 2013 – World No. 18 Canada pulled off one of the biggest wins in their history by beating Olympic champions and world No. 2 Russia for the first time ever in a five set thriller 3-2 (20-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-11) in their Pool E match on Thursday.

In three previous matches between the two countries, Russia had won them all - one in five sets under the old scoring system and two in straight sets at the 1999 World Cup and 2006 World Championships.

Canada now join Korea (2008) as the only team in the last 15 years to come back from two sets down to beat Russia in the World League and the Canadian victory throws Pool E open with Russia, who beat Brazil in five sets on Wednesday, missing out on the chance to confirm a spot in Saturday's semifinals.

Considering Russia’s pedigree and form, prematch predications had the two-time World League champions has strong favourites against a country making its World League Finals debut and that was exactly the tone of the start of the match.

Canadian 24-year-old Rudy Verhoeff had the honour of taking the opening serve of the match but it was Russia who continued in the same vein as Wednesday’s opening victory against Brazil with Evgeny Sivozhelez scoring the first point of the match.

It was Dallas Soonias who scored Canada’s first points of the World League Finals but by then Russia had scored three. Canada also made the first challenge at a World League Finals when they challenged a net touch but it was unsuccessful as they trailed 6-2. Russia soon lead 16-10 courtesy of a customary Dmitriy Muserskiy block before Canada coach Glenn Hoag called on the tallest player in his squad Gavin Schmitt at 2.08m to replace the unusually inconsistent Soonias. The North Americans soon pulled their way back to 19-17 with Schmitt and John Gordon Perrin, who went on to top score in the match with 20 points, starting to fire on all cylinders before Russia struck back – Nikolay Apalikov sealing the set with a centre court spike 25-20.

Despite the first set set-back, Canada continued their momentum in the second leading 5-2. Russia pulled back to 9-9 with Muserskiy devastating at the net and Alexey Spiridonov efficient in attack but it was until Russia finally gained the lead at 19-18. This signalled the first appearance in the match of Maxim Mikhaylov before he was subbed again at 20-19 without touching the ball however it seemed to spark Russia into a run with Spiridonov and Sivozhelez spiking successfully before Schmitt spiked long giving Russia the second set 25-21.

Canada, whose previous best finish in the World League was seventh in 1992, were really fighting above their weight at this stage, keeping level with Russia throughout the third set. While Spiridonov, Sivozhelez, Muserskiy, Nikolay Pavlov and co were going through the gears, Schmitt, Perrin and Winters gave as good as they got and soon the underdogs held a 22-20 lead. Russia successfully challenged a spike in to make it 22-21 but Schmitt was Canada’s go to man with a cross court spike before Winters finished a terrific rally with his own attack to seal Canada’s first ever set win against Russia in the modern scoring era.

The oldest player at the World League Finals, Canadian libero Daniel Lewis, 37, along with Winters defended like demons at the back court and as try as much as Pavlov and Muserskiy tried to break down the Canadian block, the underdogs soon snatched a second set-win after Muserskiy served disappointingly into the net.

Even with the match tied at two sets apiece, the feeling within the Esdtadio Islas Mavinas was that Russia would finally pull rank and complete the victory and at 7-3 up, it certainly seemed to be the case however, Canada – who had a best finish of seventh (1992) in the World League – weren’t to be overawed. They slowly pulled it back to 7-7 thanks to blocks by Adam Simic and Graham Vigrass before some great serving from Verhoeff put Russia under severe pressure. An ace, a spike wide by Sivozhelez, a bad reception by Spiridonov and a Simac block gave Canada match point 14-10 on Verhoeff serve. Russia saved one match point before Joshua Howatson blocked the final point for the historic celebrations to begin.

The win sees Canada extend its national record to nine World League victories in one year. Its previous best was six wins in 1992. After a 2-2 start to the 2013 campaign, Canada now has a national record seven-match World League winning streak.

Download highresolution

 Language(s)
   English
   Spanish

| More

More press releases

   
24.07.2014 10:52:10
World League's top four USA, Brazil, Italy and Iran contribute to Dream Team
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2014 – USA outside hitter Taylor Sander topped the statistical charts to receive the highest individual honour in the ... More...
22.07.2014 16:16:30
Andrea Zorzi: Speed is at the heart of modern volleyball
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 - After the end of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League, former Italian champion Andrea Zorzi talked about the d... More...
22.07.2014 15:00:52
World League performances reshuffle world ranking
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 – The 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League has resulted in a reshuffle of the senior men’s world ranking, with Serbi... More...
21.07.2014 01:09:50
Talking Stats: USA join World League’s multiple gold medal club; Italy win back-to-back bronze
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 20, 2014 – USA secured their second gold medal in the competition and became the fourth nation to earn multiple gold medal... More...
21.07.2014 00:07:58
USA upset Brazil to claim second World League title
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – USA, ranked fourth in the world, beat world No. 1 Brazil in four outstanding sets 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to... More...
20.07.2014 23:04:47
Lee hails 'unbelievable' team after USA scoop gold medal
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - USA's players hailed an "unbelievable" 3-1 win (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) over world no.1 ranked Brazil in the Worl... More...
20.07.2014 22:58:12
Dynamic USA power past Brazil to grab World League gold
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – USA stunned Brazil 3-1 (31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23) to claim the gold medal at the FIVB World League Finals in Floren... More...
20.07.2014 19:19:49
We will go for gold soon, says Italy's Travica
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 – Italian setter Dragan Travica said that Italy can win a future tournament soon, after they claimed the bronze medal i... More...
20.07.2014 19:12:13
Italy claim second consecutive World League Finals bronze
Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - Italy claimed the bronze medal of the 2014 FIVB World League Finals, beating Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) in a sold... More...
20.07.2014 12:43:14
Stats Preview: Brazil, USA set for first-ever meeting in World League final; Italy eye fourth bronze medal
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 19, 2014 – Brazil and USA are set to clash in their first-ever final matchup in the competition, while hosts Italy take on... More...