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Canada battles Olympic champs at Worlds

Sapporo, Japan, October 2, 2018 – Canada faced another strong opponent in 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 on the third day of action at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Centre. 
 
Despite the score, Canada took an early lead, and stayed 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, but 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. 
 
See schedule here: http://japan2018.fivb.com/en

About the tournament:

The world’s best 24 teams are in Japan following a qualifying process, which started in 2016. The 24 countries competing in the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championship are split according to the following: South America (two), Asia (five), Europe (eight), Africa (two) and NORCECA (seven).

The teams have been divided into four pools of six teams playing in a round-robin system with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the second round. The tournament takes place in four cities, with Canada’s pool B in Sapporo for the first round.

Roster:
#1 Jessie Niles, Turner Valley, AB
#2 Autumn Bailey, Burlington, ON
#4 Kyla Richey, Roberts Creek, BC (team captain)
#5 Danielle Smith, Beaverlodge, AB
#7 Brianna Beamish, Surrey, BC
#8 Alicia Ogoms, Winnipeg, MB
#9 Alexa Gray, Calgary, AB
#11 Anna Feore, Stratford, ON
#12 Jennifer Cross, Scarborough, ON
#16 Shainah Joseph, Ottawa, ON
#19 Marie-Alex Belanger, Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, QC
#22 Megan Cyr, St. Andrews, MB
#23 Emily Maglio, Cranbrook, BC
#25 Kiera Van Ryk, Surrey, BC

Staff:
Head Coach: Marcello Abbondanza
Assistant Coach: Richard Schick
Assistant Coach: Vincenzo Mallia
Therapist: Giorgio Caiterzi
Statistician: Tommaso Barbato
Team Manager: Chrissy Benz

Official web site: http://japan2018.fivb.com/en
Official web cast: https://welcome.volleyballworld.tv/ (by subscription)
Follow Volleyball Canada on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates
Follow the women’s team account on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/canwvb/
 
Photo: FIVB

Volleyball Canada
Jackie Skender
Director, Communications
613.794.7676
jskender@volleyball.ca