International Volleyball

Volleyball Nations League: Gray, Canada overpower Germany; USA plays Bulgaria

Volleyball Nations League: Gray, Canada overpower Germany; USA plays Bulgaria

Canada’s Vicky Savard passes against Germany/Volleyball World photo

ARLINGTON, Texas — Canada took another step towards clinching its first Olympics spot since 1996 with a sweep of Germany on Thursday in Volleyball Nations League.

Earlier at UT Arlington, Poland swept Korea and then Türkiye beat Serbia in four sets.

In Macao, China, Japan swept France and Brazil beat the Netherlands in four.

At the end of the day, the women’s standings saw Poland and Brazil on top at 6-0 and Italy a game back at 5-1.

The USA women are back in action after two days off. 

The Americans (3-2) play the late match here, at 8 p.m. Central, against last-place Bulgaria (1-4). At 1 p.m. Poland plays Germany (1-5) and then Canada (4-2) faces Serbia (1-5). The USA women came home from Rio de Janiero 2-2 after a first round in which they beat Thailand and lost to China and Brazil, all in four sets, before sweeping the Dominican Republic. They opened the second round here on Tuesday with a four-set win over Canada in which Kathryn Plummer had 14 kills, Jordan Thompson 13 and Jordan Larson 12.

Friday’s matches in Macao are already completed with the Netherlands (3-4) beating the Dominican Republic (2-5) in four sets and Japan (5-2) beating China (4-2) in four. Nova Marring had 18 kills, a block and two aces for the Netherlands, and then Sarina Nashida Koga went off for Japan with 25 kills and Arisa Inoue had 18. 

A very efficient Canadian team overpowered Germany 25-20, 25-15, 25-22 as Alexa Gray of Calgary, who played at BYU, had 17 kills with no errors in 30 attacks to hit .566 with two aces. She also had a team-high 11 digs. 

Kiera Van Ryk had 10 kills, three aces and five blocks, two solo, to go with nine digs. Andrea Mitrovic, who played at Arizona State, had eight kills, a solo block and eight digs. Jazmine Ruth White, who played at Michigan State, had five kills in 11 errorless swings and five blocks, two solo. Setter Brie O’Reilly had three kills, a block and  her team hit .430.

Canada is sixth in the 16-team standings. After playing Serbia, the team has Saturday off before finishing the second round against Korea.

“We took care of business today,” Canada coach Shannon Winzer said. “Our game plan was to take out the German middle attack and it starts with service pressure and then finishes with our executing our blocking assignments. 

“The team did a great job of following the game plan and everyone did their jobs today.”

Lena Stigrot had 11 kills for Germany.


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