Curitiba, Brazil, July 5, 2017 - Rising star Sharone Vernon-Evans played a key role for Canada with a match-high total of 14 points as his side handled an amazing upset to Russia by 3-0 (25-23, 29-27, 25-17) to reach the semifinals at 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League Finals in Curitiba.
18 years-old Vernon-Evans found solid supporters in teammates John Gordon Perrin and Stephen Timothy Maar, both with 12 points on their sheets. Russia had in Egor Kliuka the only player with double figures, as he completed 11 tallies.
Canada not only repeated the feat of four years ago, at 2013 Finals in Mar del Plata, Argentina, when they downed Russia at an unforgettable match, but also gave shape to their best ever World League performance so far as they already secured a semifinal berth. Russia now need to defeat Brazil in straight sets to join the Americans, at a crucial clash scheduled Thursday at 3.05 PM (local) that will also decide the fate of the hosts.
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With Vernon-Evans on fire, Canada firstly unlocked two extremely close sets against Russia, both with a minimum margin on the board. The Europeans nearly saved the second one with a couple of monster-blocks, but it was useless and Canada stole the show afterwards - Captain Perrin joined Vernon-Evans and the gap only grew larger until the 3-0 win.