Canada battles Olympic champs at Worlds

Photo: FIVB

Canada faced another strong opponent – 2016 Olympic champions China – today at the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championship. China won 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-13) in the final Pool B match of the third day of action at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Centre.

Despite the final outcome, Canada held its own and took an early lead; staying very close with the world-ranked number 1 team in the first two sets.

“We fought, especially in the first two sets,” said Canada’s coach Marcello Abbondanza. “We had maybe a chance to take a set, but when you’re playing against players with such experience it’s complicated. I’m happy with what I saw, and I hope this is a good start for our remaining two matches (Cuba and Bulgaria), which are very important for us.”

Captain Zhu Ting was the top scorer for China with 14 points and Yuan Xinyue added 10 points and Gong Xiangyu nine. Kiera Van Ryk had 11 points for Canada, with Emily Maglio scoring nine.

China had the edge in blocking points (10-8), service points (6-4) and errors (10-19), and had a strong performance from setter Ding Xia.

Canada’s team captain, Kyla Richey, noticed a change in her team today after two tough losses (to Turkey and Italy) earlier in pool play:

“It was a completely different team on court – we played with feeling and confidence. We got to show what we’ve been working on for the last five or six months. It was nice to see our team rise to the challenge. We lost a bit at the end, but overall I’m happy how we fought with one of the top teams in the world.”

Familiar NORCECA zone opponent Cuba is next for Canada on Wednesday in a must-win situation for both teams who have yet to see victory in Pool B.