FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Brazil into semis as Canada's dream run comes to a close

Brazil's Wallace top scored in the match with 18 points

Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 19, 2013 - Nine time FIVB Volleyball World League champions Brazil booked a World League semifinal spot for the 18th time in 24 editions - including 14 of the last 15 – after beating Canada 3-0 (25-18, 30-28, 25-20) in the last Pool E match on Friday.

Having lost to Russia in five sets on Wednesday, Brazil needed to win the game and that they did, maintaining their impressive record against Canada which includes 17 wins from 21 matches, including 13 out of 16 in the World League and four on the bounce.

The win sees Brazil top Pool E, with Russia finishing second while Canada’s dream World League run which had seen them on a record seven-match World League winning streak going into the Brazilian match come to an end in their first ever appearance in the World League Finals.

Although super attacking weapon Gavin Schmitt started on the bench, Canada started the match looking as though they had just beaten the Olympic champions on Thursday as they did, taking a quick 2-0 lead but Dante quickly replied with two spikes before Brazil had a 4-2 lead themselves. The scoring was going in fits and spurts with Canada going on a four-point roll at 6-4 before successfully using the Challenge System on a line call to make it 7-4. That was the largest lead Canada would have. Brazil, who had Vissotto out resting a swollen left knee, fought back to level at 10-9 thanks to a Wallace ace before tying at 11-11. From then it was all Brazil. Wallace really coming into the game while Lucarelli was at his dynamic best. Five points on the trot gave Brazil a 15-11 and 19-14 lead. It only got worst for Canada as Adam Simac rolled his foot before Brazil had set point at 24-18. They only needed one after Fred Winters spiked wide.

With Schmitt on the bench, Canada’s stars in the win against Russia didn't seem as influential. John Gordon Perrin and captain Fred Winters only had two points each to their name. After scoring six points in the first set, Wallace continued on in the same vein in the second, scoring the first two for Brazil but the second set started out much closer than the first. Two great rallies typified the intensity. Lucaralli claiming the honours to give Brazil a 4-3 lead soon followed by Soonias who registered his fifth point to give Canada the lead at 7-6. It was Canada’s only sniff of the lead as Brazil were soon ahead 12-9, with Canada challenging unsuccessfully but at this point, coach Glenn Hoag called on his tallest player Schmitt hoping his injured knee will hold out. Schmitt's introduction certainly geed up his teammates. Simac blocked to make it 17-16 before scores were level at 18-18. Winters pulled off a superb solo block on Lucarelli to give Canada the lead at 21-20. A  Schmitt serve and spike put Canada ahead 23-21 before the fighting qualities of the No. 1 team in the world came to the fore. Wallace spiked, Lucas blocked Schmitt to tie at 23-23 before Lucas and Wallace blocked Winters to give Brazil set point. Canada had their own set point at 27-26 after a bullet serve from Joshua Howatson but successive held-ball calls gave Brazil set point again at 29-28 before Winters spiked into the net.

The close second set defeat seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the Canadians as Brazil opened an 8-4 lead in the third. Although Canada fought back to 19-18, it just spurred Brazil back into action. Canadain skipper Winters tried to rally the troops but a spike out at 23-19 gave Brazil match point before Wallace sealed it with his 18th point and Brazil's 999
th set won in the World League. (Italy is the next best with 894).

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