Canada and USA debut with victories

RUSE, Bulgaria, September 12, 2018 – Canada enjoyed splendid debut at the FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship by defeating Netherlands in straight sets 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-18) in Pool B match on Wednesday.

Nicholas Hoag and Sharone Vernon-Evans were the best scorers for Canada with 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Nimir Abdel-Aziz had a match-high 13 points for the losers.

It is the first win for Canada against the Netherlands at the World Championship, after the North Americans lost the previous two meetings in 1978 and 1990.

Meanwhile, in Bari, Italy, the United States prevailed in a roller-coaster battle with Serbia in Pool C by scores of 3-2 (15-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10). The USA team won the battles at the net in blocks (15-12) and from the service line in aces (8-5).

Aaron Russell led the American squad with 19 points, including three blocks and one ace, while Matt Anderson added two blocks and two aces among his 18 tallies. Taylor Sander finished with 16, with four aces and two blocks, and Maxwell Holt chipped in with 10 points, including four blocks. Serbia’s Uros Kovacevic topped the losers with 19 points followed by Aleksander Atanasijevic and Marco Ivovic with 14 and 11, respectively.

In Pool D in Varna, Iran defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-18) behind Seyed Mousavi (11), Amir Ghafour (10) and Ali Shafiel (10). For Puerto Rico, Maurice Torres finished with 10 points.

Also in Varna, reigning champions Poland held off a reaction of Cuba to win 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 25-14) with Artur Szalpuk leading the attack with 18 points. Bartosz Kurek added 16, including five blocks and Michel Kubiak chipped in 13. For Cuba, Javier Concepción and Marlon Yang finished with 12 and 11, respectively, while Miguel Gutierrez and Roamy Alonso each had 10 tallies.

In Florence, Italy, Slovenia recovered from losing the first set and went on to beat the Dominican Republic 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-13, 25-17) in Pool A.

Tine Urnaut and Mitja Gasparini led five players in double figures for Slovenia with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Klemen Cebulj added 12 while Alen Pajenk and Jan Komazernik contributed 10 points each.  Henry Lopez and Elvis Contreras registered 12 and 10 points for the Dominican side.