Canada Women kicks off VNL with a loss to Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil May 14, 2024.- Canada’s women’s team opened its Volleyball Nations League 2024 campaign in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Tuesday evening.

It was a hard-fought 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 26-24, 25-12) win for the world-ranked number three Brazil home team, with Canada still fighting for an Olympic spot, and is at 11th spot in rankings (as of May 15). 

"Playing Brazil in Brazil is tough. I thought we battled hard the first three sets. For a first game it was a solid performance. We need to clean up our serving and our block/defense, but I think we set a high standard for the competition in the first game and it’s a solid start from which to build," said Canada’s head coach Shannon Winzer.

Though Canada led in attack points (55-53), Brazil dominated in blocking (15-5) and Brazil earned more points from errors (27-20); the teams were equal in service points (5-5).

Alexa Gray led Canada’s scoring with 23 points (23 kills, one block, on ace). Kiera Van Ryk contributed with 18 points, two on aces.  

"The road to qualification is going to be long," admits Winzer. "We have another 11 games to play in VNL. We will keep focusing on one point at a time, never getting too far ahead of ourselves." 

Canada goes back in action on Thursday May 16 against the Dominican Republic.

VNL Web site: https://en.volleyballworld.com/volleyball/competitions/volleyball-nations-league/

The women’s team is still in contention to qualify for Paris 2024 via the World Rankings.

Seven women’s teams are already qualified for the Games. The remaining five places are filled by selecting the top five not yet qualified teams in the FIVB World Ranking as of the end of the preliminary phase of Volleyball Nations League.