Summer 2015 - Saturday, July 4, 2015 - noon MST posted

posted Feb 10, 2017, 6:16 AM by Ashley Lee
Saturday, July 4, 2015 - noon MST posted

From opening ceremonies last night. Was a nice affair - dedicated to the students who are the ‘lights of tomorrow’!

Today had only one match Korea vs Argentina which Argentina won very easily actually. Lot of mistakes by the Koreans in serve and attack. Good blocking by the Argentinians. 

Argentina is coach by Kantor who was an outstanding setter in the late 80’s and 90’s. Within him and Conte and outstanding right side player they teamed up to win a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 1988, beating their arch nemesis, Brazil, for the 3rd placing. Their tactic was to give the ball to Conte at all times when points were needed. Didn’t matter if front or back row and didn’t matter how many players tried to block him. Kantor found ways to use enough of his other players in quick set situations and then use a back row attack to position 5 - which they mastered. They were the only team in the world to use that set location regularly and probably no one has used the position as a consistent place to get points from. Conte was usually unstopable and Kantor rallied the troops with his outstanding choice of attack and found many one on one situations as he mastered the game.

One of the assistant coaches of that Argentinan team from 1981-83 was Julio Velasco , who later moved to Italy to take them to two sliver medals at the World Championships and one bronze at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Stay tuned for the rest of the story - where did Velasco go after Italy and why is this country a surprise in world competitions after 4 years of his style of coaching. He coached this country from 2011-2014 and now is back coaching the national Men’s team of his home of Argentina. If they win both of the two matches against Bulgaria, in Bulgaria, this next weekend they may push Canada Men out of the final 8 of the World League.

Canada men have finished their competition in the World League. Canada has more points than the other teams which are awarded for 3-0 wins (3 pts), 3-1 or 3-2 wins (2 pts) and if you lose 2-3 (1 pt). But if you have more wins than your opponents you automatically get a higher placing, even though you have less points. Right now Canada men have 23 points and are 6-6 (wins/losses) and finished their matches. Bulgaria is in first place with only 18 points but they have won 7 matches and lost 3, better than Canada. Argentina is 4-6 and with two wins in the final World League matches against Canada could tie them with 6 wins and 6 losses. Depending upon the set outcome they could maybe squeeze Canada out of a of that final position but, I think, they would have to win both 3-0 to make this happen. They play tonight and Sunday in Bulgaria. Stay tuned or look at the results on line. Bulgaria is in as the host in the next round so you never may know what will happen. If they don’t want Canada in their pool the watch out - stranger things have happened in international volleyball.

Canadian Coach Glenn Hoag rested his older players for the last few matches since they have to return to play in the Pan American Games coming up in Toronto later in July. Canada lost its last two matches to Argentina 3-1 and 3-2. But if all goes well Canada will move onward in the World League competition, a tremendous achievement if that is to occur and I am sure will win Gold in the Pan American Games. What coach Hoag has done is so very special that not a lot of people realize the work that he has done to make these results happen.

Just before I send this I am waiting for Canada’s Women’s results against Turkey. They lost the first set 25-19 as I begin to write this and are down 22-21 in the second set. Now Canada is up 24-23 and chance to win and even the match. Yes, they just won the set 25-23 in a long 33 min match. Super - now we will wait even longer but I will try to give you a bit of a play by play for every technical time out (8 and 16 and end of match result). Means they have around another hour to play out this match. I saw Turkey practice and they did look good but maybe the Canadian women are even better. We shall see shortly.

Back to 3rd set action Canada is down 16-8. From Alberta and Laurie Eisler’s U of A Pandas it looks like Dione Lang ( 2 points ) and Meg Casault ( 5 points ) have started all sets so far. Jessie Niles is playing as a defensive specialist and has been used in all 3 sets. Alicia Perrin leads all Canadians with 12 points. The third set has just ended in 23 minutes with Canada losing 25-16. I am only getting running scores on the system used her for the Games, wish that I could see the match live. if you go to: you can get scores and a live stream of the points being scored and some stats if you care to follow yourself one night. You have to go to Volleyball and then the results section. It says whether a match has yet to start, is finished or ‘running’ when it is still live. Remember there is a 15 hour ahead time change if you want to catch the action. 

After 2 min of the 4th set it is only 1-1, so much to go before we know if a come back is in order or not? Waiting, waiting, waiting - not a good feeling when you should be there watching. Remember I was talking about Velasco, the Argentinian who has returned to his country to coach their Men’s team and I asked you a question. Have you got the answer yet - if not you have to wait until after the Canadian match - sorry.

Canada down 8-6 after the break and now 9-6 … as I look they are back in it down only 13-12. Well that country that has come into prominence under Velasco is IRAN - yes Iran a world power. A team that mainly only has competed in the Asian Championships over the last 8 to 10 years and lately the World League for Men. They are currently the strongest team in Asia, yes better than Japan, China and Korea (having won the 2011 and 2013 Asian Volleyball Championships and they rank 10th in the world in the FIVB rankings (as of September 2014), maybe higher now. They finished 4th in the 2014 World League for Men, a big surprise. Remember their team here in FISU easily beat our Canadian Men 3-0 two days ago. Canada Men are currently ranked 14th as of September 2014.

Breaking news Canada women on a run, up 16-13 - go girls go! Still hanging in with a 19-17 lead. Casault must be on fire because she is up to 11 pts scored for Canada. … Now up 21-19 - almost there now the nerves get a bit tight but we can handle that as that is why athletes play. … Up 23-20, think we are going to set 5 … 24-21 …. oops 22-24 but only one side out needed, maybe time out taken by Canada because no movement in the score. Lets hope that Olivier’s tactic will work … IT DID! WE ARE GOING 5! GO CANADA GO! Another 27 minute game.

Stay tuned almost done - another 15 minutes. You know when you come back on a good team and put them under pressure anything can happen. We must continue to be aggressive and think about the process, not the outcome. Bad start for Team Canada, Turkey up 3-0 - time out called, I think … have to get the next side out … didn’t get it …down 0-4 … no, down 0-5 … finally a point but then win by Turkey 1- 6. Shows that Turkey has come experience and they seem to be holding their composure better than Canada (but they will learn from this situation - something that you can’t really duplicate in practice)…. bit of a rally we are down 3-7 - now if we can get a point or two before the turn it will help us mentally to get back in the game - think point by point not the end result girls …no luck Turkey got there before us - down 3-8, maybe there still is a bit more in the tank. It is a 2 for 1 situation right now. We need to get a run of two each time we serve or even better a run of 3 would help if we are to get back into this … its coming we are now down 5-9, got that 2 points, now maybe a few more … Turkey time out … great 6-9 we got another run - now we are getting into their heads - steady now but stay aggressive - Turkey may be thinking about the outcome and maybe the fear of failure will come into their heads … still chances Turkey scores but so do we 7-10 … another point but only one … 8-11 … time out Canada, I am sure! Sweaty hands and cool minds, I hope. Here we go again … Meg up to 13 points for her team, ouch … 8-12, side out and not too many more chances to get that run of 3 we now need … darn it - 9-13 … YES, 2 in a row 11-13 … CHANCE …time out Turkey … our girls are showing that they are fighters … next point … dig and transition … YES 12-13, one more time girls … 14-14 YES, YES … go it is in the Turkish heads … ah no … 14-15, what happened and … wait … wait … not good …. 14 -16. So close, so close but I am sure they will find the positives and get ready take out this loss on Zimbabwe and Thailand. It should help for the Thailand match regardless of how good they are. Well done - even though I know they will hate themselves for the loss.

That’s it folks - never done this before - talk myself into a match that I don’t see in front of me but only in my head … maybe with some past experiences thrown in.


Stats ...
Meg 15 points scored
Dione 8 points scored 
Jessie Niles  5 digs
Match: 2 hrs and 7 min