Saskatoon, Canada, June 26, 2016 - Canada continued its winning ways today in FIVB World League play. The host country downed Portugal in four sets: 24-26, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21.
Toon Van Lankvelt topped Canada’s effort with 16 points, followed by Nick Hoag with 11. Alex Ferreira of Portugal topped all scorers with 21.
The match began with play bouncing back and forth evenly. Portugal had trouble with serves going long and into the net early, a theme that continued throughout the match, but they began moving their feet well at the net to stifle Canada’s attacks. Both sides struggled to put together consecutive points. Canada battled back to tie the set at 24, only to lose on a mishandled serve. Portugal took the first set 26-24.
Canada blocked much better in the 2nd set earning a three point lead half way through, the match’s largest gap at that point. Their defensive consistency extended their lead to six points. Portugal was irate with two calls during the set and earned a yellow and then three subsequent red cards. Canada stayed calm and put away their opportunities taking the set 25-15.
Another red card came off the first point for Portugal, but they seemed to regain their composure as they kept pace with Canada mid-way through the set. Serving still seemed to be an issue with several players continuing to send their serves long and wide. First set much like the first but Canada came out on top 25-23.
Several rallies with incredible digs by the Portuguese went to waste as the Canada attack was too much. Canada began to pull away near the end of the fourth set, wearing down the Portuguese defense. Ultimately, the Canadians finished off their opponents with another World League victory, sending them into their next FIVB dates in Finland with some momentum.