Tuesday started off with a thrilling match as Ben Saxton (Calgary) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB) fought back to beat Brazilians Pedro Salgado and Evandro Goncalves to claim their first win of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games beach volleyball tournament 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 16-14).
Chaim Schalk said after the match: “They got off to a jump in the first, but we were just able to grind ‘em down and keep pushing, so I’m proud of our fight today. The (mainly Brazilian) crowd didn’t really rattle us, it just gave us more energy – it was fun.”
Next they play unbeaten Cuba. “We have a tough team in Cuba. Every team in our pool is around the same level, so anything can happen in this pool. We have to keep grinding and taking it one game and one point at a time.”
The next beach match saw Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas face the number four seed from Germany Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst. The Canadians lost 2-0.
“They are a very strong serving team; they play very strong defense,” said Victoria’s Broder. “They were tough to score against, especially combined with the unforced errors on our side.”
The midnight madness match featured Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) and Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON), who had a decisive win 2-0 over Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr gain control of Pool E.
“We stayed with our game plan and they did a lot of things that we expected. When they didn’t, we brushed it off. Our block-defense was consistent. Switzerland played well tonight; we expected them to come out strong,” said Sarah Pavan.
Pavan and Bansley play on Thursday against at 9 pm (local or 8 pm Eastern) against Germany.
Men’s indoor recap
It was a rowdy affair against Brazil as Canada came out strong to win the first set, but was defeated 3-1 (24-26, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17) for the host country’s second win in as many matches as day 2 of men’s pool play wrapped up at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games before another sellout crowd at the Maracanazinho arena.
Brazil joins Italy as the only two undefeated teams of Pool A, as Canada drops to 1-1 after two rounds.
“I think we kind of lost our rhythm; we didn’t play that well today,” said Canada’s Gavin Schmitt. “We made of lot of execution errors. They put a lot of pressure on us with their serving and we gave them an opportunity to create a gap. They are the number one team in the world for a reason, and if you want to beat them you have to play a lot better than we did.”
Gord Perrin was Canada’s best scorer with 15 points.
Said Canada’s coach Glenn Hoag: “I’m disappointed in certain aspects of how we played our game, especially where we could have made a little bit less execution errors. They (Brazil) don’t make these type of errors – that’s why they are the world number-one team. Now we need to look at what went wrong, and focus on the next match (against France).”
Canada’s Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter (both Richmond Hill, ON) will be looking for their first win in pool A against Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria in a pool A match that wraps up day five in Rio (11 pm EDT, midnight local). A loss for the Canadians will send them to a 19th-place finish, while a win will put both teams at 1-2 and their fate will depend on the result of the Italy and Brazil match. A win by Austria will give them two wins in the pool, and their fate will also depend on the results of the Italy vs. Brazil match.
Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst and Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter have split their two meetings on the FIVB World Tour.