Summer 2016 - Monday, August 8, 2016

posted Feb 10, 2017, 6:35 AM by Ashley Lee
Monday, August 8, 2016

Email from Coach Larry McKay:

"Hi Lorne,

USA coach John Speraw spending moments with me before the match chatting about family, old times. A great human being, and top coach, very good at his craft.

Our players loose, relaxed and enjoying all the lead-up moments to the match on the warm up court, in the locker room.

USA looking fantastic in warm up, they definitely have a great spiking team.

An even start for us, and USA looking to serve hard, making errors.

A close first set with no one on our team doing very good or very bad, and at the end, Nick Hoag displayed some superior attacking, our players especially Gavin heeded Coach Hoag's advice to serve in, USA still served out, won tight one, but USA not shaken (perhaps stirred a bit though).

Second set Anderson bombs some very good serves, where he was missing at the end of the first set.  USA looks to reassert their dominance over us, their younger upstart brothers. We do not succumb to braggadocio so easily.  In fact, perhaps the memory of 2013 NORCECA in Langley lingers on and sticking our finger in the eye of our older brother does not suffice.  TJ Sanders begins to work his chess board of attackers.  Nick Hoag continues to seemingly score at ease which does much for our confidence in all areas and seems to frustrate the USA.  And Sanders in his blocking match-up with former World League MVP Taylor Sander has great success.  In fact, Sander gets removed for legendary gold medalist Reid Priddy.  Not phased, our team pulls away as USA replaces their serving errors of the first set with many other shoddy ball contacts.

A complete team effort will now be required to finish this.  Several of our players took many turns up on the bench to assist players and staff.  Steve Marshall picked his sub spot perfectly and showed his range as a player delivering two perfect sets.  Rudy Verhoeff knew exactly who would be best replaced for his laser beam serve.  And in the end, when USA got some formidable blocks finally on Nick Hoag, other players scored their points for us as it took so much USA attention to stop Nick.  Gavin who had paced himself perfectly was there at the end (Rudy Verhoeff predicted it from the bench, that it was Gavin's time).  Gord Perrin delivered timely serves and spikes.  TJ Sanders used all his chess pieces now to the befuddlement of the USA blockers.  And when in the penultimate point, we passed a perfect ball, TJ held his hands such that the USA blockers were late getting to one of the best attackers in the world, and Gavin killed it for point 24 and match point was upon us, TJ walked back to the service line without celebration, already moving on to the next biggest point.  The student was about to become the teacher.  And Graham Vigrass delivered with a commit block on the exact set and shot the USA had lined up.  He stuffed it, it was covered but not well and Gavin hit it easily for the match point.

Gord Perrin took on one of the best and highest paid players in the world, Matt Anderson, and stuffed him a couple of times, one time one on one.
Justin Duff out-served Max Holt, another one of the top middle players in the world, and in fact played him even in other aspects. And Blair Bann passed the USA hard spike servers at the end of the match when it counted most.
Role of substitutes is so important and Glenn used all his players who rose to the challenge."