2018 Memorial of Hubert Jerzy Wagner
- August 24th-26th, 2018
- Tauron Arena, Krakow, Poland
- Teams: Poland, France, Russia, Canada
- Official website
- TV: Polsat Sports and Polsat Sport Extra
This weekend will mark the 15th edition of the Memorial of Hubert Jerzy Wagner men’s volleyball tournament in Krakow, Poland. The four-team tournament, organized by the Hubert Wagner Foundation and named after Hubert Wagner who coached the team to the 1974 World Championship, 1976 Olympic gold medal, and the 1975 and 1983 European Championships.
This marks the third-straight season in which it will be held in Poland, and for the first time in tournament history, the same four teams return from last year: the hosts and world-ranked #3 Poland, the Nations League champions and world #4 Russia, the 2017 World League champions and world #9 France, and the 2017 World League bronze medalists and world #6 Canada.
Last year, Poland won gold, France took silver, and Russia won bronze. Poland’s 7 gold medals, and 14 total medals, are the most in the history of the tournament, but they’ve also participated in all 14 editions of the tournament – no other country has played on more than 5 occasions. Still, they have the highest percentage of entries won, at 50% of their participations.
The tournament is a well-produced set of glorified friendlies occupying its traditional spot 2 weeks out of the summer’s major tournament, which this year is the World Championships, hosted in Italy and Bulgaria, from September 9th-30th. Teams play each of the three opponents once, and at the end, a winner is decided based on those results, with no knockout stage.
Canada’s roster, which includes 8 Olympians, is highlighted by the returns to the lineup of Gordon Perrin and one of the most dynamic young players in the world, Sharone Vernon-Evans. The 19-year old Vernon-Evans underwent surgery on his left leg earlier this year, but has returned to the court – and he says with a new diet that should h ave him flying higher than ever.
Canada’s roster will not be complete, however, as several big names are missing. That includes outside hitter Stephen Maar, opposite Gavin Schmitt, and outside hitter Ryley Barnes. Schmitt had retired from the Canadian National Team, but after some time to recover and let his 32-year old body heal, he returned to play in the Nations League.
Canadian Roster, 2018 Hubert Jerzey Wagner Memorial
- Setters – TJ Sanders, Jay Blankeneau
- Outside Hitters – Gordon Perrin, Steven Marshall, Nicholas Hoag, Jason DeRocco
- Middle Blockers – Lucas van Berkel, Daniel Jansen VanDoorn, Arthur Szwarc, Eric Loeppky, Graham Vigrass
- Opposites – Sharone Vernon-Evans, Ryan Sclater
- Liberos – Blair Bann
Head coach: Stephane Antiga
Assistant coach: Dan Lewis
Team manager: Julien Boucher
Therapist: Melissa Healy
Statistician: Lionel Bonnaure
Strength coach: Louis-Jean Tremblay