The starting libero for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s volleyball team will make his international debut this week.
Vernon’s Landon Currie has been chosen to represent Canada as the national junior men’s team gears up to play an international tournament in Peru. Currie and Team Canada will play in the U21 Pan Am Cup tournament, which begins Friday and runs for 10 days.
It will be Currie’s second stint with the junior national team after being part of its practice squad last year.
“I know most of the players who are going to Peru,” said Currie. “I think I have improved from my time with the team last season by just working on little things in my game, like passing and defence.”
Team Canada will have two days of practice at the national men’s training centre in Gatineau, Que. starting Monday, with Joao Paulo Bravo back as the team’s head coach.
WolfPack head coach Pat Hennelly believes Currie’s stock rose after a second year of experience at the Canada West level.
“He had a solid season and is developing as a leader on the court,” said Hennelly, who thinks the practice squad experience of 2018 will only benefit him.
“It’s the same coaching staff as last year. He is familiar with many of the players. It is always nice when you have a sense of familiarity in those situations. It is an edge for him. We know from past experiences with our players—Brad Gunter (Courtenay) getting cut the first year and then making it the second and Colin Carson (Prince George) making it the first year but not the second—anything can happen. There are no guarantees you can represent your country in consecutive years.”
After the tournament, the players will return to Gatineau and join 24 others in an open tryout for selection to the team to represent Canada at the World U21 championships in Manama, Bahrein July 18 to 27.
Canada is ranked eighth in the world.
Currie is the only WolfPack player going to the tryouts in late May.