Evan Daum, Canada West Communications
EDMONTON - Led by former Thompson Rivers WolfPack star Gord Perrin's 13 points, Canada captured bronze at the FIVB Volleyball World League finals over the weekend in Curitiba, Brazil.
Canada's 3-1 win over the United States Sunday marked the country's best-ever finish at the event, as former Canada West players fueled the Canucks' historic performance in the team's first appearance at the Group 1 level.
Currently ranked eighth in the world based on last year's performances, which included a fifth at the Olympic Games in Rio, the Canadian men's team once again came up big on Brazilian soil.
"I'm just really proud right now of everyone in the program, and happy for everyone in the past that's helped the program," said Perrin, who was part of the 2016 Olympic squad. "It's been the last four or five years - every year we achieve something new, and we go to somewhere we haven't been. I'm excited to see where we can go from here; I hope we can continue to grow."
Along with Perrin, nine other Canada West products donned the maple leaf, with Trinity Western and Alberta leading the conference charge with three alums each on the Canadian side. Manitoba, Calgary, and UBC were also represented on the team with a player apiece.
Among the former Canada West players on the roster was Alberta's Brett Walsh, who is the most recent player to come out of the conference and excel for Canada on the international stage. Walsh recently completed his final season of university play after etching his name into the Canada West record book as the conference's all-time assists leader with 4,039.
In addition to the team success, a pair of Canada West products were honoured with World League individual awards, as Graham Vigrass was named a tournament all-star at middle blocker, while Blair Bann was named top libero.
Former CW players on Team Canada
Name / Position / Hometown / Former CW School
TJ Sanders / Setter / London, Ont. / University of Mantioba Bisons
Brett Walsh / Setter / Calgary, Alta. / University of Alberta Golden Bears
Blair Bann / Libero / Edmonton, Alta. / UBC Thunderbirds
Steve Marshall / Libero / Abbotsford, B.C. / Trinity Western University Spartans
Graham Vigrass / Middle / Calgary, Alta. / University of Calgary Dinos
Lucas Van Berkel / Middle / Edmonton, Alta. / Trinity Western University Spartans
Daniel Jansen VanDoorn / Middle / Langley, B.C. / Trinity Western University Spartans
Jason DeRocco / Left Side / Winnipeg, Man. / University of Alberta Golden Bears
Gord Perrin / Left Side / Creston, B.C. / Thompson Rivers University WolfPack
Ryley Barnes / Left Side / Edmonton, Alta. / University of Alberta Golden Bears
With files from Volleyball Canada