As Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, and Finland begin play at the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championships in the honorary host-country opening matches on Sunday, Volleyball Canada has announced their roster. Canada, which has branded themselves as the #VolleyMaples for the tournament, play in Pool B, and will begin their tournament against the Dutch men.
They also will play Brazil, China, Egypt, France, and the Netherlands in their bid to place in the top 4 in the pool, which would advance them to the next round of the tournament. Pool B plays in Ruse, Bulgaria.
Canada has never finished higher than 7th at the World Championships, which happened at the last edition in 2014 World Championships. The team has cleared a lot of superlative hurdles lately, though, including a bronze medal at the 2017 World Ledague that was their best-ever finish in that event.
Canada will have a key piece of that bronze medal team back: Sharone Vernon-Evans, who missed this year’s Nations League with an injury. He made his return to Canada at the Memorial of Hubert Jerzy Wagner Trophy, though Canada went 0-3 in that tournament.
The roster includes 12 of the 14 players who won that World League bronze.
Among the absences from the roster that stands out: Ryley Barnes, who came off the bench and had 10 points in the World League bronze medal match win over the US. He suffered ligament damage and a fracture in his ankle in August, and is expected to miss significant time both for Canada and his pro team Civitanova. Ryan Sclater, the 2017 USports Player of the Year and professional with SVG Luneburg in Germany, has taken over Barnes’ role on the team
Also missing is reserve setter Brett Walsh, who has been supplanted by Jay Blankeneau in that role behind TJ Sanders.
The only change from the Wagner Trophy roster is that Eric Loeppky is out at middle blocker, replaced with National Team regular Stephen Maar.
Canadian Men’s Volleyball World Championships Opening Round Schedule:
- September 12th – vs. Netherlands (17:00 EET, 10:00 Toronto Time)
- September 13th – vs. Egypt (17:00 EET, 10:00 Toronto Time)
- September 15th – vs. China (17:00 EET, 10:00 Toronto Time)
- September 17th – vs. Brazil (20:30 EET, 13:30 Toronto Time)
- September 18th – vs. France (20:30 EET, 13:30 Toronto Time)
By Position Roster:
- 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, Graham Vigrass, Stephen Maar
- Opposites – Sharone Vernon-Evans, Ryan Sclater
- Liberos – Blair Bann, Steven Marshall
- Eric Loeppky,
#1 TJ Sanders, London, ON
#2 Gord Perrin, Creston, BC
#3 Steven Marshall, Abbotsford, BC
#4 Nicholas Hoag, Sherbrooke, QC
#5 Lucas Van Berkel, Edmonton, AB
#7 Stephen Maar, Aurora, ON
#8 Jay Blankenau, Sherwood Park, AB
#9 Jason DeRocco, Winnipeg, MB
#10 Sharone Vernon-Evans, Scarborough, ON
#11 Daniel Jansen VanDoorn, Langley, BC
#16 Ryan Sclater, Port Coquitlam, BC
#17 Graham Vigrass, Calgary, AB
#18 Blair Bann, Edmonton, AB
#20 Arthur Szwarc, Toronto, ON
Head coach: Stephane Antiga
Assistant coach: Dan Lewis
Team manager: Julien Boucher
Therapists: Melissa Healy, Luc Campbell
Statistician: Lionel Bonnaure