Paralympic Games hopes dashed for Canadian women’s sitting volleyball team

SAO PAULO, Brazil (September 30, 2011)- Canada lost to Brazil 25-15, 25-19, 25-10 on Friday in the semifinal at the Pan American championships in women’s sitting volleyball championships. With the loss, Canada’s hopes to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games are over.

Brazil will earned the one spot available for the Games as it will meet the U.S., in the championship final on Saturday. The Americans already had a Games spot locked up after placing second at the world championships this past summer.

‘’Clearly not the outcome we have been training for, ‘’said Canada’s head coach Dusty Freimark of Edmonton. ‘’It's a huge disappointment but we're young and a lot of these athletes haven't experienced this type of pressure.’’

Freimark was pleased with the great improvements her troops have made this season.

‘’Six months ago we wouldn't have been at this level and now we are being competitive,’’ she said. ‘’We have a long way to go but I'm proud of this team for how far they've come in such a short period of time.’’

Allison Lang of Edmonton led Canada with eight points while Danielle Ellis of Surrey, B.C., Leanne Muldrew of Winnipeg and Leaha Hickman of Lashburn, Sask., added five each.

Canada faces Colombia in the bronze medal match Saturday.

Canada is fielding a 10-member team with three members from Alberta: Allison Lang, Amber Skyrpan and Jolan Brunner, all of Edmonton. Danielle Ellis and Jordan Funnell are both from Surrey, B.C.; Karen McKoy and Chantal Beauchesne, both of Ottawa.

Manitoba has two players: Emerald Kehler of MacGregor and Leanne Muldrew of Winnipeg. Leaha Hickman of Lashburn, Sask., rounds out the squad.

Dusty Freimark of Edmonton is the head coach and Janna Dubyk of Edmonton, the assistant.