Three Canadian teams are off to quarter-finals at the 2019 Summer Universiade, with women’s soccer victorious in a must-win game against South Africa to book their ticket to the medal round.
Saturday night in Nocera, Katherine Bearne of the University of Ottawa scored the lone goal in Canada’s 1-0 women’s soccer victory, sending them off to the medal round. In Benevento, the Canadian women’s volleyball squad wrapped up a spot in the quarters with a 3-0 win over Thailand, while men’s basketball wrapped up its preliminary round at a perfect 3-0 after defeating Norway 73-65 in Cercola. And in diving, two Canadians finished just off the podium.
At Naples, Mia Vallee finished just off the podium in the women’s 3 m springboard final. The College de Maisonneuve student, who also placed seventh in the 1 m springboard on Thursday, earned a combined score of 286.10 and a top dive of 61.50.
Fellow Canadian Olivia Chamandy, who finished 19th in the preliminaries, qualified through the semifinal and jumped all the way to sixth place with an overall score of 280.15. Her highest score came on her final attempt, which was also a 61.50 dive.
“I was really happy,” said Vallee. “The dives that I had the most success with are the ones that I just started doing. I'm satisfied with my performances and the fact that I finished fourth at such a prestigious event.”
Vallee and Chamandy are right back in action Sunday when they will join forces to compete in the 3 m.
At Nocera, Canada's women's soccer team brilliantly bounced back at San Francesco Stadium, prevailing 1-0 over South Africa to reach the quarter-finals of the Universiade.
Katherine Bearne’s goal at the 17th minute allowed Canada (1-1-0) to get a first win in the group stage, after dropping their opener 4-1 against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The girls in red and white finish the round robin in second place of Group A, allowing them a quarter-final berth against Japan (2-0-0).
“Today is a good Canadian win,” said Canadian assistant coach Cindy Tye. “We scored early and we defended very, very well for the whole game. I’m very proud of them.”
“Coming in to this game, we knew what happened and what we had to do,” said Bearn, a midfielder for the Ottawa Gee-Gees. “What we saw today is our work that we put in. It’s good for us to get the win, but we all think there are things we can improve on what we are trying to build.”
The Canadians will only have 48 hours to prepare for their quarterfinal match against Japan, which will take place Monday night starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. PDT (9:00 p.m. local time).
The Canadian women’s volleyball team notched its second win in as many days Saturday and clinched a spot in the quarter-final round, defeating Thailand 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-16) at the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade on Saturday at Palatedeschi in Benevento, Italy.
“It’s unbelievable. The competition is just so high here,” said Canadian head coach Laurie Eisler when asked about their quarter-final berth. “To be classified in the top eight is a great honour and now we just have to keep rising to the challenges. We know that every match is just going to get harder and harder.”
University of Alberta standout Kory White led all players with 16 points off 13 kills and three blocks.
“I feel Canada’s name for volleyball just isn’t out there as much as we’d like it to be,” said White. “It just means the world that we can start showing ourselves as a country and as a team that we’re stronger than we look, and not as nice as we look.”
Canada (2-0) will now look to secure the top spot in Group A as they do battle with Russia (2-0) on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. EDT / 5:30 a.m. PDT (2:30 p.m. local) before quarter-finals commence on Tuesday.
At Cercola, the Canadian men’s basketball team picked up a gritty 73-65 win over Norway Saturday, improving to 3-0 at the 2019 Summer Universiade and finishing atop Group D after the preliminary round.
Canada will face Ukraine in the quarter-final Monday in Avellino, Italy, looking to advance back to the semifinal round at the biennial Universiade for the first time since a fourth-place finish in 2013.
It wasn’t a pretty win against Norway, which wraps up the preliminary round 0-3 after losses to Germany and Italy. Canada struggled defensively and shot just 17 of 32 from the free throw line.
“I think it’s good for these guys, it shows them you have to play hard internationally,” said Shawn Swords, Canada’s head coach. “You have to play as hard as you can every single game, and whoever does is going to come out the winner.
“(Norway) makes you work hard on the defensive end, and they really move the ball around well. We had a lot of problems with that.”
Canada’s quarter-final goes Monday night at PalaDelMauro in Avellino, with tip-off set for 2 p.m. EDT / 11 a.m. MDT (8 p.m. local).
At Nocera, the men's volleyball team was defeated 3-1 by Brazil in their first match of the Universiade on Saturday night at Palacoscioni.
"I think the service reception did very well tonight. It's a strong team in service," said Canada's head coach Dave Preston. "Unfortunately, the pressure has not been the same on our side. We missed our last four services, and when you have a team like Brazil on the other side of the net, you can’t take away so much pressure. We have to make sure we take care of that."
Dylan Mortensen led Canada with 15 kills. The latter and George Hobern each managed three blocks.
Preston and his men will not have much time to ponder defeat, as they will find themselves on the court against France in less than 24 hours, Sunday at 8:30 a.m. EDT / 5:30 a.m. PDT (14:30 local time).
Artistic Gymnastics (W)
At Naples, Denelle Pedrick finished seventh overall in the women’s individual all-around competition with a final score of 49.800 points. Her best performance came in the vault, where she finished second with a score of 14.25 points. Fellow Canadian Jessica Dowling placed 12th with 48.050 points.
Artistic gymnastics wraps up their competition Sunday at PalaVesuvio. Dowling will compete in the individual uneven bars, beam and floor events, while Jacon Bonnay is set for the men’s individual pommel horse. Action gets underway at 6 a.m. EDT / 3 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. local).
At Naples, Ainsley McMurray led the Canadian swimming team with a seventh-place finish in the women’s 100 m freestyle on Saturday night. The University of Toronto student, who was also a member of Canada’s 4x100 m freestyle relay team that finished fifth on Day 2, touched the wall in 55.95 seconds.
“I was stoked,” McMurray said. “Before the race, being in the call room with all of the girls, it really gets your nerves up, but they’re good nerves. I was pumped and ready to go so that was so exciting. I’ve never had a pre-race feeling like that. I felt a lot of pressure, but good pressure that was going to push me to swim faster.”
2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist Kennedy Goss (1:00.43) and UBC star swimmer Ingrid Wilm (1:00.55) advance to tomorrow’s 100 m backstroke final after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, out of the semifinals.
Hilary Metcalfe placed 12th after the women's 200 m individual medley semifinal round, while Eli Wall finished 14th in the men’s 200 breaststroke. The 2018 Commonwealth Games participant touched the wall in 2:13.91.
Montana Champagne rounded out Day 3 swimming action by finishing 15th in the men's 200 m butterfly in 2:00.35.
In Naples, the men’s and women’s rugby 7s teams fell short on Day 2 on Friday. The women lost 29-0 to Japan and 17-7 to France, while the men lost 12-5 to Italy. The losses eliminate both teams from the tournament.
After defeating Italy on Friday, the women struggled against Japan in their morning outing before showcasing a much higher level of compete and physicality in a gritty battle with France.
“Obviously we are disappointed in the results but I thought this game we finally got to play some rugby,” said women’s head coach Colette McAuley from the University of Guelph. “The girls were moving the ball around with some attacking systems that looked good but we can’t afford those turnovers. Three turnovers in the game, three tries and that’s what happened.”
The men played Italy in front of a loud home crowd and despite a try from Harry Kryczka were unable to knock of the hosts.
“Sevens is a game of chance and it’s a cruel game and I’ve been on both sides of it,” said Canadian head coach Robin McDowell. “So, for me what I wanted them to do was hit their goals and today they did that.”
“There’s nothing better than playing the home town team, especially across the world. What we wanted was that Canadian character but we want to put up strong performances. With the short amount of preparation these guys have just grown each game.”
At Baronissi, University of Toronto students Rebecca Jeffrey and David Chen-Li were Canada’s top fencers on the final day of individual competition, finishing 43rd and 44th in the women’s sabre and men’s foil events, respectively.
Next up for Team Canada are the women’s epee, men’s epee and men’s foil team relay events on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, beginning at 3 a.m. EDT / 12 a.m. PDT (9 a.m. local) on each day.
At Monterusciello, Bryan Ho led Team Canada in Day 1 of singles action, defeating Australia’s Joshua Up and Sri Lanka’s Mewan Abeywickrama 3-0 to sit on top of the Group 15 standings.
Matthew Lehmann went 1-1 in Group 7 of men’s singles action, defeating Lars Banning 3-0 before falling to Hong Kong’s Ho Ching Hocking Leung.
Team Canada Medal Summary
Laurent Gosselin-Paradis & Ethan Pitman, Diving, men’s synchronized platform