Women’s national volleyball team making stop in Hamilton

Hamilton is about to be treated to some international volleyball.

In advance of the Olympic qualifications a month later, Hamilton will host one of four exhibition games between Team Canada and the Netherlands in August. Canada’s National Women’s Volleyball Team will play the Netherland on Aug. 18. The 7.30 p.m. contest will be staged at McMaster University. In addition to the McMaster site, games will be played in Oshawa on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and in Waterloo on Aug. 20 and 21.

The four-game series will offer fans in Ontario an opportunity to see Team Canada’s top line up face the Netherlands as both teams prepare for the Olympic qualifications.. Both the Canadian (ranked 20th in the world) and Netherlands (ranked 12th) national teams will be showing off their A-squads as these matches will be instrumental in their preparations and lead up to their respective zone championships the following month.

“We had a great experience last year at the world championship in Japan, we learned a lot at that event, and we noticed that we are not that far away from the top teams in the world,” said the Canadian Women’s Head Coach, Arnd Ludwig.

“But to close the gap we need to play more matches against the top teams in the world, and these matches against the Netherlands, currently ranked 12th in the world and the 2009 European silver medallists, will offer us that opportunity. Another positive aspect of this series is that we will play against a team from Europe. Last year at the world championship a lot of our players played for the first time in their careers against teams that were not from the American continent.”

“This is a huge year for Team Canada and to take the next step we need to play as many games against good teams as possible,” echoed Canada’s world class offensive weapon and Kitchener-Waterloo’s own Sarah Pavan.

“The Netherlands will bring the competitive environment that we need to experience. This is a great opportunity for Ontario’s volleyball community to see the game played at its highest level and I am excited to wear our country’s uniform in my home province for the first time.”

Tickets to all matches in the series will be on sale by the end of this week. For ticket sales for the match in Oshawa please visit http://www.generalmotorscentre.com/ and for tickets to the Hamilton and Waterloo matches visit http://www.marauders.ca. School and group rates are also available for all the matches.