Canadian men and women headed to consolation playoffs at volleyball world sitting championships

EDMOND, Oklahoma – Canada lost its final round robin matches in both men’s and women’s play on Wednesday at the 23-country world sitting volleyball championships. Both, squads which are making world championship debuts, will battle for positioning in the consolation playoff round.

The Canadian men finished at 1-4 dropping a 25-15, 25-19, 25-15 decision to the U.S. The Americans complete the round robin at 2-2 for third spot in pool A. Paralympic champions Bosnia Herzegovina took first at 4-0 followed by China at 3-1. Canada was fourth at 1-3.

“We had our opportunities,” said Ian Halliday, head coach of the Canadian men’s national team. “The errors cost us and we were forced to come from behind all the time. But we’ve played well enough this week to aim for a top-three finish in the consolation round this weekend.”

The men’s team members are Chad Drummond, Austin Hinchey and Doug Learoyd, all of Edmonton, Jose Rebelo of St-Hubert, Que., Kevin Strybosch of London, Ont., Eric Dechaine of St. Lina, Alta., Wilfredo Morewilson of Toronto, Mikael Bartholdy of Calgary and Greg Stewart of Kamloops, B.C.

The Canadians who can still finish as high as 13th place, open their playoff Friday against South Korea (1-4).

In women’s play, Canada lost to Japan 25-13, 25-22, 25-13. It was Japan’s first victory of the tournament. The U.S., took the pool at 5-0 followed by the Netherlands at 4-1. The Canadians finish at 0-5.

The Canadian women will battle for positions 9-12 and open their consolation playoff Friday against Brazil.

“It’s been an awesome experience so far for us,” said Danielle Ellis, 18, of White Rock, B.C. “We make improvements every game and we’re facing all kinds of different styles of play.”

The team members are Chantal Beauchesne of St-Isidore, Ont., Allison Lang of Edmonton and Leaha Hickman of Lashburn, Alta. The other team members are Jolan Brunner of Vermilion, Alta., Danielle Ellis and Jordan Funnel, both of White Rock, B.C., Karen McCoy of Lincoln, N.B., Amber Skyrpan of Wandering River, Alta., and Tanja Hodzic of Vancouver and Krista McDonald of Kinuso, Alta.