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Calgary to host World Volleyball League action

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According to the Volleyball Canada website on Sunday, Calgary will host two of team Canada's games in Volleyball World League action in 2014. Team Canada will be playing Finland on Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 at the Stampede Corral, former home of the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames.

Game time for the world class volleyball games will be at 6 p.m. both evenings. Canada is in Pool C with Finland, Australia and Belgium. Interestingly Canada is the highest seeded team in the pool at 11th in the world. Australia is 14th, Finland is 30th and Belgium is 37th.

The tournament is a stepping stone for Canada as it prepares to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Canada last qualified for the Olympic men's volleyball tournament at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

The Canadian team is making some significant strides on the international stage. In 2013 Volleyball World League action, Canada advanced through Pool C and upset Russia 20-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-11 in the biggest win in Canadian volleyball history in the final round in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

In 2014, the number of teams has increased from 18 to 28. In order for Canada to advance, they need to finish in first place in their group or in second place if Australia wins the group. Australia gets a bye to the second round because they are the second round hosts.

Team Canada will be hosting four more games on Canadian soil in the first round. Vancouver will host Canada's games against Belgium on June 13 and 14 and Edmonton will host Canada's games against Australia on June 20 and 21. In all Canada will have twelve opening round games as they will have two away games each in Finland, Belgium and Australia as well.

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