Canada sweeps Russia, secures semifinal slot in World League
CURITIBA, Brazil, July 5, 2017 – Canada’s young opposite Sharone
Vernon-Evans played a key role with a match-high total of 14
points in the team’s victory over Russia by 3-0 (25-23, 29-27,
25-17) at the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League Finals in
Curitiba today. Canada will advance to the semis, which are held
"It’s nice to help my team, and I’m just trying to implement
what my coaches have told me to do," said Vernon-Evans, who at
18, is the youngest player in the tournament. "And I’m hoping to
continue to improve as we move into the semi-finals."
Teammate and captain Gordon Perrin, and Stephen Maar, both had
12 points today. Russia’s top scorer was Egor Kliuka - that
team’s only player with double figures, as he reached 11 points.
The first two sets were nail-biters, but Canada managed the wins
by two points each time. Canada’s confidence showed in the third
and the team won the final set by a decisive eight points.
“We are very happy,” said Canada’s head coach Stephane Antiga.
“I’m not sure it was our best game, but one more time, it’s not
easy (in this tournament). We made fewer mistakes today
(compared with yesterday’s 3-1 loss to Brazil) and played some
good volleyball. The first two sets were hard and then I think
we took advantage of the lead. It’s comforting to know that we
are in the semi-final.”
Canada not only repeated the feat of four years ago, at the 2013
Finals in Mar del Plata, Argentina, when they downed Russia at
an unforgettable five-set match, but also gave shape to their
best ever World League performance so far as they have already
secured a semi-final berth.
Said Perrin, a 2016 Olympian: “It’s very exciting for us to
reach the semi-final. Our goal coming into the final six was to
reach the semis, and we’ve achieved that, and now we will fight
for a medal with everybody else in the final four.”
Perrin also commended Vernon-Evans’ progress in World League.
“We’re very happy with his performance so far… we had a really
big gap to fill when Gavin Schmitt retired from the national
team. So I didn’t know how long it would take to find a strong
opposite. He has a lot to learn and responsibility to gain,
but this is definitely the right place to get that, so every
time he plays he’ll get better and better.”
Canada’s next match-up is yet to be decided, but it will take
place on Friday, July 07.