Sofia, Bulgaria, September 21, 2018 – Canada continued its freefall at the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship losing 3-1 (25-17, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17) to USA in the opening match of Pool G. As the championship moved to Sofia the Americans became the first team with six victories at this year’s edition.
Canada started the week as Pool B leaders in Ruse. Losses to Brazil and France relegated them to fourth place. Now with three defeats in a row coach Stephane Antiga’s team is right on the brink of elimination.
Canadians were clearly outmatched right from the get go. After trailing 6-7 early in the opening set they won just 3 of the next 12 points. The Americans were unstoppable in attack with a kill rate of 76% as Aaron Russell led the team with 5 points out of 5 attempts for the 25-17 success.
USA started on a 6-0 run Set 2 forcing coach Antiga to use two timeouts before the first technical break. To no avail. Matthew Anderson went 7-for-8 in spike attempts. Taylor Sander accounted for two blocks as the 25-14 final score marked the worst set loss by Canada at the championship.
The Rouge&Noir finally showed signs of life in the third set. Two spikes and a lucky ace off the top of the net by Sharone Vernon – Evans opened a 10-7 lead. The gap later rose to five points as 25-21 to Canada snapped a 10-set US win streak at the championship.
The comeback bid however was short lived. The Americans raced to a 7-2 lead and cruised to a 25-17 and their best start ever at a World Championship.
Matthew Anderson led all scorers with 22 points (20-for-24 kill rate). Aaron Russell finished with 14, Taylor Sander – with 13.