Canada wins battle of five-sets to Netherlands and USA sweeps Egypt at Olympic Qualifier

September 30, 2023.- Canada came out on the winning side of a five-set battle with Netherlands and United States beat Egypt on opening day at the FIVB Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament.

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Canada came out of the winning the end 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-12) against the Netherlands in Pool C at Xi’an, China.

Netherlands came out swinging hard, leading in attack points (69-57), but also gave up more points to errors (34-25). Canada led in blocking (13-5) and service aces (8-3).

Dutch star opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz led the attack, with 29 points; followed by Maarten Van Garderen with 19. For Canada, it was more of team effort, Arthur Szwarc (19 points – including 2 blocks), Stephen Maar (18 points total, with 2 blocks and an ace) and Eric Loeppky (15 total, with a block and an ace).

Canada’s next opponent is Argentina who earlier mastered a 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) win against  Mexico. Argentina held a 48-29 advantage in kills, 13-3 in blocks and both teams scored three points on aces. Diego González was Mexico’s best scorer with 11 points.

Mexico will face Netherlands in their second outing.

United States against Egypt

In Pool B United States scored a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19) victory over Egypt, leading 40-29 in attacking points, 5-4 in blocks and 8-2 in service aces.

Torey Defalco led all scorers with 17 points (11 kills, 2 blocks, 4 aces), Matt Anderson scored 13 points (11 kills, 2 aces) and Aaron Russell added 11 points (10 kills, one block).

United States will play next against Finland, in Tokyo.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Canada, Cuba, Mexico and USA in Men Olympic Qualifier

September 27, 2023.- NORCECA teams, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and the United States are all set to compete for a spot for Paris 2024 at the FIVB Men’s Olympic Qualifiers taking place in Brazil, Japan and China from September 30-October 8.

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There are three pools of eight teams each, where two teams from each one will qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Cuba will compete in Pool A in Rio De Janeiro against Brazil, Italy, Iran, Ukraine, Germany, Czechia and Qatar.

In Pool B, the United States will play matches against Egypt, Finland, Türkiye, Tunisia, Slovenia, Serbia and Japan, in Tokyo.

Canada and Mexico will be in Pool C in Xi’an, along with the hosts China, Poland, Argentina, the Netherlands, Belgium and Bulgaria.

At the end of the three qualifiers, six teams for the Olympics will be determined, plus the host country France.

The other five teams will be determined based on world rankings in mid-June 2024.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament

United States Claim Ticket to Paris 2024

ŁÓDŹ, Poland, September 24, 2024.- Reigning Olympic champions the United States qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on Sunday when it defeated Germany 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-9, 25-16) at the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier in Łódź, Poland.

United States finished the tournament with a 6-1 record. They qualified for their 11th straight Olympic Games and 13th overall. USA finished first in group C and also improved their world ranking to No. 2.

United States dominated Germany on the attack (69-41) led by opposite Annie Drews who entered the match as a substitute to start the second set and led all scorers with 27 points on a match-high 27 kills (.544 hitting efficiency).

 “My focus coming into tonight was to just be where my feet were and fill in the gaps as needed,” Drews said. “We sometimes talk about how we want to feel after the match is over. Can we truly say we have nothing left in the tank or finished with no regrets? So that was in the back of my mind tonight; playing in a way where I wouldn’t regret anything.”

United States celebrates a point

 Outside hitter Jordan Larson added 17 points on 11 kills, a team-high three aces and three blocks. She also led the team in successful receptions with five and had 16 digs.

 “Really proud of our team for how we responded after a difficult loss (to Poland) yesterday,” said Larson, a three-time Olympic medalist. “Props to Germany for coming out strong in set one, but really proud of our team, which stayed steady and secured our ticket to Paris.”

 Germany led in blocks (10-8). The teams tied in aces (6-6) and Germany had one more scoring error (16-15).

USA outside hitter Kelsey (Robinson) Cook totaled 13 points on 12 kills and one ace. Middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu scored 10 points on five kills, a team-high four blocks and one ace. 

Dominican Republic Qualify to Paris 2024 with dramatic five-set win over the Netherlands

NINGBO, China, September 24, 2023 – The Dominican Republic clinched their direct ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on Sunday after defeating the Netherlands in a thrilling five-set match (25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-12) at the FIVB Road to Paris Qualifier in Ningbo, China.

This marks the fourth time that the Dominican Republic has participated in the Olympics, their  second consecutive one (Athens 2004, London 2012, Tokyo 2021).

The Dominican Republic started the Olympic qualifier ranked number 10 in the world, now holds position 8, surpassing Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, and Germany.

The top positions are Türkiye, Serbia, United States, Brazil, Italy, China, and Poland, in that same order.

The Caribbean Queens goal was to win two sets over the Netherlands to secure their Olympic qualification, achieving it when Brayelin Martínez managed to close the third set with a touch (25-19) in favor of the Dominicans. The Dominican Republic had won the first set.

Dominican Republic celebrates five set win over the Netherlands

With their sixth consecutive victory, the Dominican Republic closed the event with a 6-1 record, winning Pool A. The Dominicans triumphed over Canada, Ukraine, Mexico, Serbia, China, and the Netherlands, only falling in their opening match against the Czech Republic.

The Dominican Republic’s offensive attack was led by Brayelin Martínez with 23 points, all from attacks, followed by Yonkaira Peña with 17 (16 attacks, one block), Gaila González with 16 (15 attacks, one service ace), and Jineiry Martínez with 10 (7 attacks, 3 blocks).

The top scorers for the Netherlands were Nika Daalderop with 23 points, Celeste Plak with 18, and Jasper Marriet with 14.

Also in Pool A, Canada defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21), securing third place with a 5-2 record.

Canadian Kiera Van Ryk was the top scorer of the match with 17 points. Also contributing to the win were Emily Maglio with 13 points and team captain Alexa Gray added 10 points.

Dominicans knockout China and will go head to head against the Netherlands for the ticket to Paris

September 23, 2023 – The Dominican Republic secured an important victory over China on Saturday, winning 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-14) in the FIVB Qualification Tournament for the 2024 Olympic Games held in Ningbo, China. They will now vie for the ticket to Paris against the Netherlands on Sunday.

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The Caribbean Queens will play their last match of the qualifier on Sunday against the Netherlands who suffered a 3-0 loss on Saturday against Serbia. Serbia earned their ticket to the Olympics.

The Queens of the Caribbean currently hold the second position in Group A with a 5-1 record, tied with Serbia, who leads with 15 points. The Dominican team has 15 points, closely followed by the Netherlands with 12 points.

The Dominican Republic needs to win two sets on Sunday against the Netherlands to qualify for Paris 2024, which would mark their fourth participation in the Olympic Games (Athens 2004, London 2012, Tokyo 2021).

Brayelin Martinez (DOM) spikes against China

The Dominicans made more unforced errors than China, but well made up with an advantage in offense, leading 60-43 in attacks and 10-4 in blocks.

The Dominican attack was led by Brayelin Martínez (25 points), Gaila González (21 points), and Yonkaira Peña (16 points).

Meanwhile, Canada, also in Group A, improved their record to 4-2 after defeating Mexico 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-17). Opposite hitter Kiera Van Ryk led with 17 points, including two aces and two blocks, while outside hitter Grecia Castro was the top scorer for Mexico with 16 points.

Here are the standings

USA beat Italy to remain undefeated, Canada now 3-2 at Olympic Qualifier

September 21, 2023.- The United States took one more step toward Olympic qualification on Friday by beating Italy 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18) at the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier in Łódź, Poland and Canada defeated Ukraine 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-12, 25-11) at in Ningbo, China.

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United States (5-0), the defending Olympic champions, are now the only undefeated team in Pool C. On Saturday, USA will play Poland (4-1) while in Pool A, Canada (3-2) plays Mexico, who has yet to find a win. 

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

USA led Italy in kills (63-58). The teams tied in blocks (9-9) and aces (2-2). The U.S. scored 24 points on Italy’s errors and gave up 14.

Jordan Thompson (USA) spikes against Italy

Opposite Jordan Thompson led all scorers with 24 points on a match-high 23 kills and one block.Outside hitter Kelsey Cook added 16 points on 12 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Kathryn Plummer, who played as a substitute and started the fourth set, scored 11 points on 10 kills and one ace.

In Pool A, Canada had a tentative start, and Ukraine took advantage and control early on, however, Canada recovered to take the match in four sets.
Alexa Gray topped the scoring charts with 24 points for Canada. Middle blocker Emily Maglio was again effective with 13 points; including five block kills. Ukraine’s opposite Anastasiia Kraiduba led her team with 16 attack points.

Mexico had a strong ending in their loss 1-3 (17-25, 19-25, 25-18, 27-29) to Czechia.

Here are the standings

Dominican Republic downs Serbia and Puerto Rico defeats Argentina

September 21, 2023 – The Dominican Republic took an important step towards their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by dominating Serbia in Group A, while Puerto Rico came from behind to defeat Argentina in Group B.

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Dominican Republic secured a 3-1 victory over Serbia (25-23, 18-25, 25-23, and 25-17), the current world champions and second in the world ranking.

With this crucial win, “Las Reinas del Caribe” now have a 4-1 record, the same as Serbia. Both have accumulated 12 points in Group A, in Ningbo, China.

Dominican Republic will have the day off on Friday and will return to play on Saturday, facing China.

Brayelin Martinez against Serbia

Dominican Republic’s offence was led by Gaila González with 18 points, followed by Brayelin Martínez with 16. Yonkaira Peña contributed 13 points, while Cándida Arias and Jineirys Martínez finished with seven points each.

Serbia’s star opposite player, Tijana Boskovic, scored an impressive 32 points.

In Group B, in Tokyo, Puerto Rico came from behind to defeat Argentina 3-2 (28-30, 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-8).

Opposite Brittany Abercrombie, scored an impressive 35 points, with 30 attacks, 3 blocks, and 2 direct service points, helping Puerto Rico improve their record to two wins and three losses.

Brittany Abercrombie scores 35 points against Argentina

Pilar Victoria contributed 18 points, while Alondra Vázquez and Neira Ortiz each added 10 points.

Puerto Rico will return to the court on Friday, September 22, to face Peru.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Vibrant Victory for Canada Over China at Olympic Qualifier

September 20, 2023 – Canada secured their second victory in Pool A of the Women’s Olympic Qualifier  event this Wednesday by defeating China in a five-set thriller (28-26, 15-25, 25-23, 22-25, 17-15) held in  Ningbo, China.

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Kiera Van Ryk led Canada’s attack with 26 points, supported by captain Alexa Gray, who contributed 23 points in attacks and one block. Her teammate, Emily Maglio, performed exceptionally at the net with 9 blocks, 10 points in attack, and one service point. 

Canada now stands with a 2-2 record, while the Dominican Republic improved to three wins and one loss after defeating Mexico 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-16). The Dominican offense was spearheaded by Gaila González with 14 points, followed by the central player, Eve Mejia, with seven, and Yonkaira Peña with six.

Canada celebrates huge win over China

Dominicans will face Serbia on September 21, the only undefeated team in the pool. On September 22, Canada will take on Ukraine, and Mexico will play against the Czechia.

Meanwhile, in Pool C, taking place in Lodz, Poland, the United States remains undefeated with victories over Slovenia and Korea. The American team will play against Italy on September 21, with both teams holding a 4-0 record.

Jordan Thompson led the United States over Korea with 26 points, including 20 in attacks, 3 in blocks, and 3 service points. Kelsey Robinson contributed 13 points, while Jordan Larson and Dana Rettke each scored 12 points.

In Pool B, in Tokyo, Puerto Rico lost to Brazil 21-25, 15-25, and 9-25. Brittany Abercrombie was Puerto Rico’s top scorer with 8 points, including 6 in attacks and 2 in blocks. Elaine Alondra Vázquez contributed 7 points from attacks.

Puerto Rico’s next opponent is Argentina.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Dominican Republic tops Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico with defeats

September 19, 2023 – The Dominican Republic earned its second consecutive victory in Pool A of the FIVB Olympic Qualification Tournament on Tuesday, defeating Ukraine 3-0 (27-17, 25-21, 31-29). In the same pool, Canada and Mexico suffered straight-set defeats, as did Puerto Rico in Group B.

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The Dominican Republic’s attack was led by Brayelin Martínez with 25 points, followed by Yonkaira Peña with 15, Gaila González with 13, and Jineirys Martínez with 10 points, improving the team’s record to two wins and one loss in Pool A, in Ningbo, China.

Dominicans outperformed Ukraine 55-48 in attacks and 11-4 in blocks. Ukraine led in service aces 3-1.

Meanwhile, Canada fell 0-3 (19-25, 17-25, 21-25) to Serbia and now has a 1-2 record.

The European team dominated in attacks 45-32, blocks 9-7, and service points 8-1. Canadians Alexa Gray, Kiera Van Ryk, and Hilary Howe each scored nine points. Serbia’s Tijana Boškovic was the top scorer with 25 points, including four aces.

Also in Group A, Mexico suffered its third defeat (0-3) after losing to the Netherlands 0-3 (18-25, 18-25, 17-25), who led in attacks 45-38, blocks 10-3, and service points 5-2. Grecia Castro was Mexico’s top scorer with 12 points, followed by Jocelyn Urías with eight points.

In Group B, contested in Tokyo, Japan, Puerto Rico lost to the hosts 0-3 (23-25, 21-25, 13-25) and now has a 1-2 record.

Puerto Rico dominated in blocks 7-2, but Japan led in attacks (52-36) and service points (5-2). Brittany Abercrombie, with 17 points, was the leading scorer for Puerto Rico.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Canada and United States started the Olympic Qualifier with success

Canada in Pool A and defending Olympic Champions United States in Pool C started the FIVB Road to Paris Women’s Volleyball Qualifier Tournament with success.

In Ningbo, China, Canada number 9 in the world ranking, won a dramatic five set 3-2 (32-30, 18-25, 15-25, 25-17, 15-13) to Netherlands, number 11 in the world ranking.

Canada prevailed over a 77-70 advantage in attacking points and scoring on 20 opponent errors, while giving away 18. The Netherlands topped 14-8 in blocking points and eight to one in points from serves.

Four players led Canada’s offense with double figures, team captain Alexa Gray scored a match-high of  28 points, outside hitter Kiera Van Ryk (19 points), middle blocker Emily Maglio (12 points) and outside hitter Hilary Howe (10 points).

In Lodz, Poland, the United States, number 2 in the world, earned a straight-set victory 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-13) over Colombia (No. 20).

USA held a 44-25 advantage in kills, 9-2 in blocks and 6-1 in serves. Middle blocker Dana Rettke and opposite hitter Jordan Thompson led with 11 and 10 points respectively.

United States against Colombia

Also in Pool A, Dominican Republic and Mexico fell in their opening performances. Dominican Republic (No. 10) to Czechia (No. 17) in a tough five set battle 2-3 (21-25, 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 12-15) and Mexico (No. 23) to Serbia (No. 3) in straight sets 0-3 (16-25, 19-25, 23-25).

Dominicans led in attacks (73-63) and serves (4-2); Czechia in blocks (15-9) and committed fewer errors (19-30). Dominican Brayelin Martinez led all scorers with 28 points, followed by Yonkaira Peña with 24 points. Middle blocker Jineiry Martinez added 15 points.

Serbia outplayed Mexico in attacks (43-31) and in blocks (11-3); Mexico held a slim 4-3 margin in serves. Mexican outside hitter Grecia Castro and Aimé Topete led their team with 9 points each.

In Pool B, in Tokyo, Japan, Puerto Rico (No. 22) fell to Türkiye (No. 1) in three sets 0-3 (19-25, 16-25, 14-25).

The Turks held advantage on 37 attacking points against 26, in kill blocks (9 to 3) and aces (11 to 6).Opposite Brittany Abercombie led the Puerto Rican scorers with 14 points.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament.