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Volleyball Canada – Sapporo, Japan, September 30, 2018 – Italy outplayed Canada for the 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-18) win on the second day of the FIVB Women’s World Championship at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Centre on Sunday.

Alexa Gray stepped up for Canada on offense with 14 points. Italy’s Paola Egonu was the top scorer of the match with 18. Italy scored seven blocking points compared with Canada’s one, and had four aces (two for Canada).

Canada didn’t back down in today’s match, and tried to battle back in the third set, evening it up several times, but Italy’s experience and skilled players won the day.

“Today, we played a little better especially in some pass and sideout situations, but we are still far short of these two teams (Turkey yesterday, and Italy),” said Canada’s coach Marcello Abbondanza. “We have China in our next match and I hope we continue to grow …. We started to show something (in today’s match) but for sure it’s not enough to play at this level.”

Italy is now 2-0 in the competition, and Canada 0-2. It was the first time the two teams had met in a Worlds-level competition.

Canada plays China, currently number one in the FIVB world ranking, next in pool play.

“China just beat Turkey today 3-0 – they are a team that will rise to the challenge for these big events and they don’t make a lot of errors,” said Canada’s team captain, Kyla Richey. “We are going to have to take confidence in the little things moving forward, and play with a bit more confidence and risk. It’s going to be a tough game against China but we knew we were starting with these three tough first matches – we have to be ready to come out and fight point for point with China.”

See schedule here:

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.

#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

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

Photo: FIVB

Volleyball Canada
Jackie Skender
Director, Communications