The Canadian women’s volleyball team fell short of a semifinal berth, dropping a 3-0 (17-25, 13-25, 18-15) quarter-final decision to Hungary on Tuesday at Palacoscioni in Nocera, Italy.
“We just had a really hard time sticking with it,” said Canada’s head coach Laurie Eisler. “We saw a really skilled and passionate team today that put it all out there and they really deserved the win. It was a regression for us for sure. Maybe the moment was a little bit big for our team and we didn’t bring the level that we needed to today but we’ll regroup and try again tomorrow.”
Canada will now face Brazil, who was upset by the host Italians, in a consolation semifinal match Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. EDT / 5:30 a.m. PDT (2:30 p.m. local) at Palasele Eboli.
“From my perspective we made a lot of unforced errors,” said Canadian libero Cassie Bujan of the University of Manitoba. “We were super prepared for this team, I felt, but I guess we underestimated their strength and size for sure. We just kind of fell short on our side.”
Alberta Pandas standout Kory White led Canada with nine points and Bujan credited the work of the bench in tonight’s match.
“Maude (Babin) stepped in big time,” added Bujan. “She had to fill Caroline’s spot as she went down injured and I thought she did a fine job. Everybody off the bench did a really good job.”
The first set started as a tight affair, with Hungary holding a hot serving hand and White leading Canada offensively. Hungary pulled away though, building a 16-10 lead at the technical timeout, and Canada was unable to overcome the deficit, dropping the first set 25-17.
After dropping the second set 25-13, Canada rallied to start the third, overcoming an early 5-2 setback with a 5-2 streak of their own. Two kills from White, and a Beth Vinnell ace tied it at 7-. However, it was all Hungary from there. Hungary went on an 8-0 run into the technical timeout. The Red and White battled to the end, bringing the set back within four points, but Hungary closed out the victory, 25-18.
“It’s Brazil. It’s a volleyball country,” added Eisler. “It’s always exciting playing a team like that and it’ll be different volleyball than what we’re accustomed to, but it’s another great opportunity to play volleyball in such a great atmosphere.”