Team Canada has won its first match of the Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament. In a tight five set match, the Canadians beat the Netherlands 32-30, 19-25, 15-25, 25-17, 15-13 from Ningbo, China. The victory was considered a minor upset as Canada is ranked 11th in the world, and the Netherlands are ranked ninth.
Four Canadians reached double digits in points. Canadian captain and outside hitter Alexa Gray of Lethbridge, Alberta led the Canadian team with 28 points (26 attack points and two block points). Three more Canadians reached double digits in scoring. Outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk of New Westminster, British Columbia had 19 points (18 attack points and one block point), middle blocker Emily Maglio of Cranbrook, British Columbia had 12 points (eight attack points and four block points), and outside hitter Hilary Howe of Calgary, Alberta had 10 points (nine attack points and one block point). Gray led Canada with 26 attack points. Maglio led Canada with four block points. Setter Brie King of Langley, British Columbia had the only Canadian ace.
This Olympic Women’s qualifying tournament in China consists of eight teams. The top two teams from the tournament qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Canada’s next game is Saturday against the Dominican Republic. The top two teams in the Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament are Serbia and China. Canada is ranked fifth as they are also behind the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands. Canada only got two points with their win on Saturday because they beat the Netherlands in five sets. Serbia and China got the full three points as they won in three sets. Serbia beat Mexico 25-16, 25-19, 25-23. China beat Ukraine 25-21, 25-18, 25-21. There was one other upset. The Czech Republic beat the Dominican Republic 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12.