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Canada earns women’s quarter-final berth at sitting volleyball worlds, sweeping Hungary

Canada continues to deliver strong performances in women’s sitting volleyball since Sunday’s hard-fought loss to the reigning Paralympic champion United States.

Head coach Nicole Ban watched her charges start quickly versus Hungary on Tuesday and breeze to a 25-8, 25-11, 25-12 victory at the world championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“After this strong match against Hungary,” she said, “we are looking forward to the quarter-final with Italy. They will be a tough opponent, but we are confident in our preparations.”

The Canadians meet Italy tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. ET for a chance to play in the semifinals, while Hungary can place as high as ninth.

On Sunday, the sixth-ranked Canadians prevailed 25-22 in the opening set versus the U.S. before dropping three of the next four and losing 15-7 in the decisive set.

“That was a tough five-set loss, but I couldn’t be more proud of the way we showed up and competed,” said Ban after the match. “We served aggressively and were able to utilize our offence against the No. 1-ranked team in the world.”

Canada wrapped up the first phase of the tournament later Sunday with a four-set victory over No. 14 Iran.

“We just went out there and played our game with some tough serves to put them in trouble and just stayed aggressive the whole game.” team captain Danielle Ellis told World ParaVolley.

Meanwhile, Canada downed Rwanda in men’s action Tuesday by scores of 20-25, 29-27, 25-12, 25-22 and will move to the 9th to 12th-place bracket.

Rwanda missed an opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in sets when it dropped a set point at 24-23. Canada didn’t fold, even when challenged late in the fourth set.

“At first we didn’t know what to expect from Rwanda as we haven’t played them before and they are much bigger than they look on the floor,” Canada assistant coach Tristan Simmonds said.

“After starting slow, our team executed our game plan very well, especially later into the sets. It was an exciting match all around.” Canada will play Iraq on Wednesday while Rwanda meets Japan for positions 13-16.

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