Canada put on a fight, but it was Brazil who won 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 26-24, 25-14) to take bronze at the women’s sitting volleyball Paralympic Games tournament in Japan on Saturday, Sept. 4.
It was Canada’s best-ever result in the sport at the Paralympic Games – five years ago, the team qualified for the first time and finished seventh at Rio 2016.
“Coming into this tournament, our goal was to be in a medal match, and we did that, but fourth was never going to be enough for us,” said Langley’s Danielle Ellis, the team captain.
“I do believe that we came and showed the world that we are deserving of our place here at the Paralympics and now we’re ready to go home and work hard to earn our spot at the podium in Paris 2024.”
Brazil got off to a strong start, with Canada showing promise winning the second set and leading for much of the third. In the end, Brazil’s experience won the day.
Canada previously played Brazil, who also won bronze in Rio 2016, in the tournament opener going to five sets, losing by two in the tie-break. Canada went on to win its next two matches against Italy and Japan, but then lost to China in its semi, who are playing the U.S. for gold on Sunday.
Head coach Nicole Ban viewed it as an impressive tournament and learning experience for Canada. “No one is going to give you anything at the Paralympics,” Ban commented.
“We have to learn to find ways to execute under pressure and win when it matters most. That third set is a perfect example. It was a major momentum swing and Brazil took advantage of it.”
“With that being said, this group isn’t done yet. This is just the beginning of our path to the Paralympic podium. We have more work to do to get there, but we will be back!”
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