Schmitt’s resilient performance lifts Canada in 3-2 win over Bulgaria


Canadian hard-hitter Gavin Schmitt starred in the five-setter against Bulgaria, he scored 22 points in the match

Gdansk, Poland, September 3, 2014 – Gavin Schmitt stole the limelight from Pool C leaders Bulgaria as he led Canada in the thrilling fifth set (17-25, 25-17, 20-25, 26-24, 15-8) in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship at the Ergo Arena on Wednesday.

Key Points

• Schmitt and Tsvetan Sokolov both charted 22 markers in the match but Schmitt’s heroics proved worthy for the victory.

• Canada earned two points in the standoff with Bulgaria.

• Canadian block was solid; they had 13 against Bulgaria’s seven.

• Schmitt and Todor Skrimov had a service ace clash – Skrimov had one more ace to Schmitt’s three aces.

The second day of play in Pool C of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship showed an attitude full of determination from the Canadian side as they wanted to gain their first points in the tournament during the clash with Bulgaria, and successfully executed it in the five setter.

Canada showed a very solid game in the beginning of the first set as they cruised to an 8-2 lead at the first technical timeout. The Bulgarian struggled on their attacks as the Canadian block proved to be tight. Nicholas Hoag and Justin Duff led the Canadians in the early segment of the set but Bulgaria soon got their rhythm and countered to cut the lead to within a single point 12-11.

Canada performed well on defence but could no longer manage to stay on track with Tsvetan Sokolov’s serve to put the Bulgarian side for the first time 16-15. Bulgaria took over and dictated the pace of the game that completed their first set comeback with a 25-17 victory.

In the second part of play, both squads were subjected to a point-by-point exchange. Bulgaria were led by Nikolay Penchev and Sokolov, while Canada banked on the hard-hitting Schmitt to fuel their offence.

The European side suffered on some ball handling errors that signalled the North American side to pull through. Canada read the Bulgarian attack scheme, while their star continued to pose problems for the Bulgarian floor defenders with his bullet serves for the 18-11 commanding lead. The Canadian triple block closed the second set to their favour 25-17.

Sokolov’s attacking game improved in the third set that helped Bulgaria have the advantage over Canada. Although both scores were just separated by two to three points, Bulgaria were more comfortable in their plays. Penchev contributed to what Sokolov have started for Bulgaria that pushed the Bulgarian lead to 16-12.

Canadian players Duff, Hoag and Perrin helped narrow the gap to within one point at 21-20 but Bulgaria reached the end of the third set ahead their opponents 25-20.

Bulgaria had complete control of the first set and held on to the lead at 19-15. Suddenly the Canadians fired back with two crucial blocks for a thrilling clash that locked the scores at 23-all. A Canadian attack stole the lead from the Bulgarians until Schmitt’s excellent service ace ended the fourth set 26-24.

Bulgaria and Canada started the tie-breaker with a tighter approach. Later on, Bulgaria had a defensive meltdown as they could not stop Schmitt, Duff and Perrin on the attack. Canada took charge and prevailed in the showdown in the fifth set 15-8.


All the News