The Canadian men’s volleyball team faced adversity on Friday, with Iran easily winning the duel 3-0
(25-19, 25-15, 25-16) to push Canada into the Taipei Universiade classification round. Canada, who finished the preliminary round with a 2-3 record, almost never took the lead in the whole game, trailing 16-8, 16-10 and 16-9 at the technical timeouts of each set. Cameron Branch led the Maple Leaf in points and kills with eight, while Lucas Coleman had four digs, a team best. Canada can now only hope for a ninth position. It will play its first game of the classification round on Sunday, August 27.
The women’s volleyball team had a placement match set against the Czech Republic, but were unable to get the win, dropping the game 3-1 (20-25, 25-14, 12-25, 17-25). Meg Casault led the red and white with 11 kills, while libero Anna Feore recorded a team-high 12 digs. Canada resumes play tomorrow.
Marc Olivier Kouo Dibongue provided all the offence, while goalkeeper Evan Barker was outstanding as Canada defeated the USA 2-0 on Friday. Playing in the 9-16 classification round, the Canadians scored in the 4th and 44th minutes. The USA fired nine shots on goal, including two penalty kicks, all of which were turned away by Barker. Canada will now play South Africa on August 27 at 4:00 a.m. Eastern time.
Women’s water polo
The women’s water polo team earned a convincing 24-5 win over Great Britain Friday, thanks to nine different scorers, including Elyse Lemay-Lavoie with five goals and Shae Fournier with four.
Canada had a strong start scoring five unanswered goals in the first quarter. Great Britain’s response came with only 30 seconds left in the first. The Brits had a good second quarter to come within five goals (4–9) at the half. The Canadian squad dominated the second half outscoring their opponents 15-1 to record a 24-5 victory.
“It’s important to take every game experience as a learning one and bring it into the next one, especially in an eight-game tournament,” said Clara Vulpisi. “This game was a good way to start preparing for the elimination stage. We started off slow but by sticking to the game plan and working together, we were able to achieve the result that we wanted.”
“We played according to plan today. We came out strong but slowed down the pace in the first half. The team was asked to pick up the pace which they did,” commented Canada’s head coach, David Paradelo. “Our focus is now on quarter-finals tomorrow.”
Canada will face the United States in the quarter-finals Saturday, August 26 at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time.