Red Deer’s Soonias leads Canada past Cuba

Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, had 17 points to lead Canada to a five-set victory over Cuba on Wednesday in both teams’ opening match of Pool F play at the FIVB men’s world championship. The Canadians, who have now won five in a row, raised their point-total to seven, while Cuba’s slightly increased to two for the second round.

WROCLAW, Poland — Dallas Soonias of Red Deer, had 17 points to lead Canada to a five-set victory over Cuba on Wednesday in both teams’ opening match of Pool F play at the FIVB men’s world championship.

The Canadians, who have now won five in a row, raised their point-total to seven, while Cuba’s slightly increased to two for the second round.

Nicholas Hoag of Sherbrooke, Que., had 16 points for Canada, while BC natives Gord Perrin and Fred Winters contributed 13 and 10 points.

Cuba’s Rolando Cepeda had a solid 17, followed by Javier Jimenez with 14. Osmany Uriarte (13) and Isbel Mesa (10) also reached double digits.

“We play Cuba pretty much every summer, so we knew what they were capable of,” said Hoag, who is the son of head coach Glenn Hoag.

“They are very energetic, and they don’t really have anything to lose because they are so young and they just play hard.

“We weren’t surprised, but we weren’t ready to be so aggressive, especially in the first set. I think we focused back after the second and we got back into the game.”

Canada will play Finland on Thursday.