A resounding loss to France on Thursday looked like it could lead to the end of the Canadian men’s volleyball team in the 2016 Olympics, but the team just wouldn’t quit.
After a great opening match upset of the USA, the Canadian team jumped out to a 1-0 lead against the top-seeded Brazil, then dropped the next three sets to lose 3-1 before a wildly cheering partisan crowd. The 3-0 loss to France could have been devastating, but Pool A teams proved to be evenly matched, with only Italy laying waste to opponents along the way.
Canada handled last place Mexico by taking all three games in the match on Saturday, then sat and watched other Pool A upsets even the playing field.
On Monday, the team, which includes PCSS grad Gord Perrin as one of its top players, kept its medal hopes alive with a 3-1 upset over Italy, Canada’s first victory over the European team in 16 matches.
Italy was previously undefeated and topped Pool A with 12 points (teams earn a point for each set win), while Canada finished second with 9 points.
By advancing to the quarter finals, Canada has exceeded most expectations, having been seeded twelfth. Italy is the fourth-ranked team in the world.
Quarter final matches are scheduled for Wednesday, August 17.