August 17, 2016: Canada fell to Russia 0-3 (15 – 25, 20 – 25, 18 – 25) today in the quarterfinals of the Rio 2016 Olympic men’s volleyball tournament. Russia, the 2012 gold medal team, advances and Canada finishes ranked fifth overall.
Canada was a tight second in its pool to advance to today’s quarterfinals, beating the U.S., Mexico and Italy, and losing to world number one Brazil and France.
Today, a determined Russian team (that went 4-1 in pool play) overpowered Canada.
“I am a bit disappointed about the game… Gavin (Schmitt) tried to give us everything he could, but he just had a lot of pain,” said Glenn Hoag, Canada’s head coach. “As far as the Games are concerned, I feel pretty empty and tired, but I am very proud of the guys. They fought so hard to get here. I told the guys ‘we are not going as tourists,’ so we trained really hard throughout World League and still performed in World League (winning Group 2). In the end, they were tired… you need to be fresh against Russia.”
Gord Perrin – who celebrates his birthday today – was Canada’s top scorer with 11 points.
The Canadian team qualified in June at the World Qualification Tournament against tough competition, and faced what was called the “pool of death” at these Games.
“It’s tough to take a loss like that in stride. We had bigger ambitions for ourselves, but it wasn’t in the cards today,” said Schmitt, who is from Saskatoon. “We did it for everybody back home and for people watching. We tried to make everyone proud.”
This was the first men’s team to qualify for the Olympics in 24 years. The previous best finish was fourth in 1984 – a year that Russia did not participate in the Olympics.