Canadian women win silver for 1st ever medal at sitting volleyball worlds

Danielle Ellis (3) of the Canadian women's sitting volleyball team makes a play at the net during a five-set loss to Brazil on Friday in the finals of the World Sitting Volleyball Championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Provided by Volleyball Canada - image credit)
Danielle Ellis (3) of the Canadian women's sitting volleyball team makes a play at the net during a five-set loss to Brazil on Friday in the finals of the World Sitting Volleyball Championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Provided by Volleyball Canada - image credit)

The Canadian women's team lost to Brazil in a back-and-forth five-set match in the finals of the Sitting Volleyball World Championship on Friday in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, earning Canada's first ever medal at the world championship level in the process.

Canada found themselves up 2-1 after three sets - winning the second and third games 25-18 and 25-21 after losing the opening game 25-23 - but the No. 4-ranked Brazilian team battled back to take the fourth set 25-17, and the final set 15-6.

"We knew Brazil was going to be a tough opponent and we came out fighting during in the first three sets. We played our game and scored big," said Canada's captain Danielle Ellis. "We couldn't do the same in the last two, but Brazil kept up the fight. We're proud to bring home a silver medal to Canada but it also fuels our fire for gold at our next competition."

Brazil had never before finished on the podium at the event, and have now earned a spot in the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

Canada already earned their best ever finish at the tournament - a sixth place finish in 2018 - when they defeated Italy in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, continuing that momentum through to their semifinal victory over Slovenia on Thursday to clinch their spot on the podium.

Earlier on Friday, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion USA took down Slovenia 3-0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-10) to win bronze.

The Canadian men's team finished their tournament by defeating Poland in five sets to take 11th place in the tournament.

Canada women's roster

  • #2 Julie Kozun — Melfort, Sask.

  • #3 Danielle Ellis (C) — White Rock, B.C.

  • #4 Jennifer Oakes — Calgary

  • #5 Payden Vair — Cardston, Alta.

  • #6 Angelena Dolezar — St. Albert, Alta.

  • #7 Anne Fergusson — Carleton Place, Ont.

  • #8 Jolan Wong — Vermilion, Alta.

  • #9 Sarah Melenka — Vegreville, Alta.

  • #10 Jayme Lepp — Vancouver

  • #11 Heidi Peters — Neerlandia, Alta.

  • #14 Katelyn Wright — Edmonton

  • #15 Felicia Voss-Shafiq — Burnaby, B.C.

  • #16 Jennifer McCreesh — Smithers, B.C.

  • #17 Allison Lang — Edmonton

Canada men's roster

  • #2 Mikael Bartholdy — Calgary

  • #3 Austin Hinchey — Edmonton

  • #5 Nasif Chowdhury — Toronto

  • #6 Bryce Foster — Thunder Bay, Ont.

  • #7 Douglas Learoyd (C) — Calgary

  • #9 Andrew Tucker — Brampton, Ont.

  • #10 Christopher Bird — Brandon, Man.

  • #11 José Rebelo — Saint-Hubert, Que.

  • #13 Dariusz Symonowicz — Toronto

  • #14 Connor Compton — Calgary

  • #19 Jason Beaman — Vancouver