Canada's men's volleyball team were defeated 3-1 by Brazil in their first game of the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade on Saturday night at Palacoscioni de Nocera.
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“I thought the reception handled themselves pretty well tonight, they are a strong serving team," said Canada’s head coach Dave Preston. “Unfortunately, our serving pressure from our baseline wasn’t the same. We missed our last four serves, and when you have a team like Brazil on the other side of the net, you can’t take that much pressure off them. We got to make sure we take care of that.”
Preston and his men will not have much time to mull over the loss, as they will find themselves on the court against France in less than 24 hours.
“We said we wanted to get better as this tournament went on so I think that’s a pretty good starting block for us. There’s nothing magical that is going to happen overnight. We know what we want to do, it’s a matter of learning experience for these guys to be able to do it on this stage. All of them know that they are capable of doing it. We are ready, we know that,” said Preston.
Canada had a difficult start, letting the Brazilians take control of the game. Many mistakes hurt the men in red, who lost the first set 25-13.
The Canadians showed a lot more conviction in the second set, both at the net and serve. They took the lead 16-12 at the technical timeout and then improved that lead to 22-15. They finally took the set, 25-18.
The two teams went back and forth in the third, with Brazil leading 16-13 at the technical timeout. The South Americans maintained that gap until the end of the set to regain the lead in the game, 25-21.
The game was kicked up a notch in the fourth set. The score remained tight until 9-9, then the Brazilians switched gears, taking the lead 16-11 at the timeout. Brazil then sailed to victory, taking the fourth set 25-18.
Dylan Mortensen led Canada with 15 kills. He and George Hobern each had three blocks.
The men will continue their round-robin tournament on Sunday against France (1-1) at 8:30 a.m. EDT / 5:30 a.m. PDT (2:30 pm local time).