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Team Canada beats Turkey in five set friendly match

Canada's Louis-Pierre Mainville was on top form during Team Canada's friendly match against Turkey in spite of being dogged by injuries and having surgery on his knee two years ago

Gatineau, Quebec, May 16, 2013 – Team Canada have won a tune match up against Turkey in preparation for the 2013 FIVB World League Tournament.  Canada will kick-off the World League tournament at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City with two matches against The Netherlands on May 31 and June 1. The Canadians play their four other home matches at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario against Portugal and South Korea in June.

Canadians Louis-Pierre Mainville and Dustin Schneider put injury plagued seasons aside and aced their first test for 2013 helping Canada to a 3-2 (21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12) victory over Turkey in last night’s friendly match.

Mainville from Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot (Quebec) played the last three sets of the match and delivered a strong performance with eight points. Knee surgery two years ago and an ankle sprain in 2012 have kept Mainville off the court for almost the entire past two seasons.

"I’m very satisfied with my performance tonight," said Mainville. "It was great to be back on the court with my teammates and my friends. It was what I needed.  The injuries were a real setback for me but last year I made sure I took the time to fully recover.  I’ve been training hard since January and I feel I’ve regained all my skills."

Setter Schneider played in all five sets earning two points and led his side with 20 serves making only two errors. Like Mainville, Schneider also had surgery in 2011 and the road back has been difficult the past two seasons.

"Tonight’s match was a big test physically for me," said Schneider, from Brandon, Manitoba.  "I was able to go the whole game, not feel any pain and get the win.  I’m happy."

For head coach Glenn Hoag having two established veterans such as Mainville and Schneider on the squad could be a big boost.

"These guys are battlers, they have come back from major injuries that potentially could have ended their careers," said Hoag. "To see their determination to come back and play as they did today is a real inspiration to their teammates."

Hoag provided playing time to his 12 players on Wednesday and was satisfied with the outcome.

"The guys are just coming back from their winter seasons in Europe so the synchronism isn’t quite there yet," he said. "The guys were a bit hesitant and we didn’t manage some situations properly.  But we kept our concentration and showed a lot of stability."

Gavin Schmitt of Saskatoon led the Canadians with 18 points while Fred Winters of Victoria added 10.  

This is also an important series for Turkey which is tuning up for the European championships this summer.


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