Langley paralympian Danielle Ellis contributed 18 points today, as she led Canada’s women’s sitting volleyball team battle it out with Brazil in their first match at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Canada didn’t emerge victorious, but came out swinging, said Nicole Ban, the team’s head coach.
Among them was the team’s captain and Langley’s own, Ellis. She lost her right leg to cancer as a newborn, but born to parents who were both heavily involved in sports, she grew up participating in gymnastics, soccer, baseball, and – of course – volleyball.
Ultimately, however, Brazil took the win 3-2 (21-25, 26-24, 25-20, 17-15) in the tie-breaker.
“After a long 17 months without an international match, it was important to put on jerseys and compete,” said Ban.
“We definitely showed that we could battle out there tonight, and have improved throughout the pandemic. It’s not the outcome we wanted, but we’re excited to learn from that match and build for the next.”
The team plays Italy next on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. (JST). Then, they play Japan on Sept. 1.
In the meantime, Ellis said she’s proud of the strides the team has made since the ParaPan-An Games in Peru two years ago. She was there in 2019, when the team took third.
“It’s evident how much work each member of this squad has put in and it showed tonight. Does that mean that was good enough? Heck no! But, we know what we need to do and we’re ready to come out fighting against Italy and Japan, and battle for a spot in the semifinals,” said Ellis, who is an ambulance dispatcher when not devoting attention to volleyball.
In addition to the 18 points put on the scoreboard by the Langley player, Alberta’s Heidi Peters topped all scorers with 21.
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