Canadian men’s volleyball group qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

VANCOUVER — The Canadian men’s volleyball crew were not heading to permit tickets to Tokyo slip by their fingers.

The adult males utilised a 3- win more than Puerto Rico on Sunday to clinch a spot at this summer’s Olympics throughout the NORCECA men’s Tokyo qualification match performed at the Pacific Coliseum.

“This is incredible,” mentioned Blair Bann, one of 8 gamers creating a return excursion to the Online games. “It’s a good experience suitable now.

“Now we understood it was going to be all in. If we gave our very best effort and hard work, we would be prosperous.”

Canada, rated seventh in the world, defeated 24th-rated Puerto Rico 25-21, 25-15, 25-15. The Canadians secured the Olympic berth by being the only undefeated crew at the four-region match.

When the ultimate stage was scored gamers flooded the court docket, wrapping every single other in hugs. Mentor Glenn Hoag knelt on just one knee and gave a fist pump.

“It provides you added electrical power as a coach to get them to live that dream,” stated Hoag, who also coached the group 4 decades ago in Rio. “The men have been so great at respecting the recreation program. They have been so targeted. They have been like this all weekend.

“That is what you need to have in these kinds of a annoying predicament.”

An fascinating 3-2 get over Cuba Saturday night put Canada in the driver’s seat heading into the remaining day of the a few-working day opposition.

The men’s Olympic aspiration appeared in peril immediately after they dropped the to start with two sets against 18th-ranked Cuba by similar 25-22 scores. They averted disaster by successful the future 3 sets 25-12, 25-21 and 15-9.

“We really do not do anything at all much too easy,” mentioned Bann, an Edmonton native who played volleyball at the University of British Columbia.

“Yesterday was an remarkable match. To occur out right here and enjoy this sport … we are looking for far more of that resiliency going into the summer.”

Ryan Sclater, a Port Coquitlam, B.C., native who will play in his initially Olympics, stated the full weekend was surreal.

“It felt like a some thing out of a movie the way every thing fell into put,” he said. “Right now it seriously has sunk in.”

Sclater praised the leadership revealed by the staff veterans.

“What was truly inspiring for me … was that they did not choose anything at all for granted,” he said. “They ended up pushing tougher than any one to check out and get back (to the Olympics), to try to make it occur for us who in no way had been there prior to.”

Cuba defeated Mexico 3-1 in Sunday’s other activity.

The Canadians put on a steady efficiency towards Puerto Rico. There had been some flashy spikes and big blocks, but primarily Canada was methodical. The Puerto Ricans were by no means really out of any of the sets but did not threaten both.

“We have taken treatment of business enterprise with Puerto Rico just before,” claimed Bann. “Just recognizing if we enjoy no cost, if we play self-assured, we need to be effective currently.

“That showed in most of individuals sets.”

Canada found itself trailing 4-1 early in the 1st established. Just after some opening nerves the Canadians settled down and crafted a guide they did not relinquish.

In the second set the adult males led by as quite a few as 10 points even though cruising to an easy victory.

Regardless of getting down 2- Puerto Rico refused to go down without the need of a combat in the third set. The Puerto Ricans held the recreation near until eventually the Canadians reeled off 7 straight points for a 16-9 lead.

The Canadian males certified for the 2016 Rio Olympics right after an absence from the Summertime Game titles of almost a quarter-century. The 12th-seeded Canadians bowed out to Russia in the quarterfinals.

Hoag believes this year’s team can be a contender in Tokyo.

“We have some places we require to improve to seriously hope for a medal,” he said. “We are likely to place our awareness on that. We have expertise and some genuinely youthful players.

“If we can get some of individuals weaknesses to be a small (much better) I believe we can hope to challenge the finest in the do the job.”

Though the Canadian men are heading to Tokyo, the women’s group unsuccessful to qualify in the course of a event in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The volleyball group gets to be the sixth Canadian squad to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, joining the men’s and women’s rugby sevens, women’s softball, men’s discipline hockey and women’s drinking water polo.

That betters the former substantial of 5 groups at a non-boycotted Games — excluding the 1976 Olympics in Montreal when the nation sent nine groups as a host.

The basketball and soccer teams also have a opportunity to punch their tickets to Tokyo.


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