Canada’s journey at the 2022 FIVB women’s volleyball world championship ended on a high note with a 3-2 victory against the Dominican Republic on Saturday.
The Canadians closed Phase 2 pool play with a win over their regional rivals, rebounding from Friday’s disappointing five-set loss to the host Polish team in Łódź.
“I think it showed a lot of character coming back from last night’s game. We were a little bit lackadaisical in the first set, but we stepped it up and our servers did an amazing job,” said head coach Shannon Winzer.
“It was a really good way to finish this tournament. We’ve played some good volleyball and we deserve to finish this way. We’ve shown that we can play with the best teams in the world.”
It took a tight effort, but the Canadian squad etched out a 25-23 victory in the second set, with Kiera Van Ryk of Surrey, B.C., scoring seven points.
“Putting more pressure from the baseline is always going to help; they have very strong middles, and the more we can get them out of the system, the easier it’s going to be for us,” Winzer said after the second set.
A dominant 25-17 third-set win allowed Canada to regain confidence and take a 2-1 lead in the match, but a challenge-filled fourth set fell 27-25 in favour of the Dominicans.
The Canadians sealed the victory with a 15-7 win in the fifth and final set, which again ended on a Dominican challenge. Van Ryk scored three points, with Alexa Gray and Emily Maglio adding two each.
“I think we believed in each other and really came together tonight. We almost didn’t look at the score and just played for ourselves,” said Canada’s libero Arielle Palermo. “We said we wanted to wrap up this tournament with a win and that’s what we did today.”
WATCH | Canada tops Dominican Republic at women’s volleyball worlds:
Van Ryk finished the match with 24 points, while Gaila González scored a match-high 28 points for the Dominican Republic.
Canada wrapped up Phase 2 with a 5-4 record and finished fifth in Pool F, falling just short of the quarter-finals. But the team made history with its best-ever result at worlds — qualifying for the second phase for the first time.
In the first phase, the Canadian women claimed wins over Germany, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan, rebounding from early losses against the United States and Serbia.
Serbia, the U.S., Turkey and Poland advanced to the knockout stage as the top four teams from Pool F, while Italy, Brazil, Japan and China advanced from Pool E.