Canada stays perfect at FIVB World League volleyball with win over Portugal
Canadians have only lost 2 sets in 6 matches
Canada ended its weekend in FIVB World League play by downing Portugal in four sets on Sunday.
Toon Van Lankvelt led Canada with 16 points, followed by Nick Hoag with 11, as the Canadian squad took the match 24-26, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21.
"I am really happy with the win. The third match of the weekend is always the toughest. Especially for guys like [setter] TJ Sanders who is always in. He stayed focused with new guys coming in," said Canada coach Glenn Hoag.
"It's kind of nice to see the team able to sustain a certain level. We can play better, but we're training hard right now pushing for Rio so the guys are not 100 per cent physically."
Alex Ferreira of Portugal topped all scorers with 21.
Canada battled back to tie the first set at 24, only to lose on a mishandled serve.
Canada blocked much better in the second set, earning a three-point lead half way through — the match's largest gap at that point. The Canadians' 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 its opportunities to take the set.
Another red card came off the first point for Portugal in the third, but it seemed to regain composure and kept pace with Canada midway through the set. Serving still seemed to be an issue with several players continuing to send them long and wide, however, which led to Canada coming out on top.
The Canadians began to pull away near the end of the fourth set, wearing down the Portuguese defence to take the match.
Canada won all three of its home matches this weekend, moving to 6-0 on the season. Saskatoon was the only Canadian tournament stop for the team before the Rio 2016 Olympics.
You can watch the full match here:
With files from CBC Sports