Team Canada target 2016 Olympics as World League starts on home soil
Joined by two players from his roster, his son Chris Hoag and setter Olivier Faucher, coach Hoag was delighted that the World League was coming to Quebec for the first time. “Quebec is a great city for sport and volleyball, so it is a great pleasure to host these World League matches here,” he said.
Setter Olivier Faucher, who currently plays professionally in Estonia, is also relishing bringing his sport to his local province. “I am looking forward to playing here again,” he said. “It’s not every day that you get a chance to play an international, high level match in front of family and friends. I’m extremely excited to finally have the opportunity.”
The first weekend of competition taken place from May 31-June 1 at the Colisée Pepsi venue, home of the Laval Volleyball Rouge et Or club. Team Canada, ranked 18th in the world, will take on the Netherlands, ranked 36th, in two fixtures.
Canada returned to World League play last season for the first time in five years, and automatically qualified for 2013 after finishing 12th overall.
Following the matches in Quebec City, Canada will then move to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, where they will play two matches against Portugal on June 7-8 and two matches against South Korea on June 14-15. Canada will then travel away to play the final preliminary Pool C matches against Finland (June 28-29) and Japan (July 6-7).
Six teams will qualify for the World League Finals in Argentina: the top two teams from Pools A and B, the winner of Pool C, and Argentina as the host country.
Former Canadian volleyball star and Quebec native Gino Brousseau, who played for the Laval club for four years and represented Canada at the 1992 Olympic Games, has been selected as the Honourary President of the matches. He challenged the locals to set some attendance records. “Let’s fill the stands and demonstrate that Quebec City is a true volleyball town,” he said at the press conference. “Let’s fill the Colisée and challenge Mississauga, the other host city, to do the same.”
Canadian Olympic Committee President, Marcel Aubut sent his best wishes to the team prior to the tournament. “On behalf of the entire Canadian Olympic family, I would like to welcome all the athletes, coaches and fans to Canada for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World League tournament,” he said. “Best of luck to Team Canada and Team Netherlands competing in my hometown of Quebec City later this month. I hope to be there to cheer Canada on.”
Tickets for the Quebec City matches can be purchased online at Billetech.com or by calling 418-643-8131 or 418-691-SHOW.