Canadian women's volleyball team beats Mexico but fails to clinch Olympic spot

NINGBO, China — Canada's women's volleyball team scored a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-17) win over Mexico on Saturday, but fell short in its bid to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Canadian attack was led by Kiera Van Ryk of Surrey, B.C. (17 points), Alexa Gray (13) and Hilary Howe (12), both of Calgary, and Emily Maglio of Coquitlam, B.C. (11).

Canada improved to 4-2 with the victory, but it's not enough for entry into the Paris Games.

Serbia and Dominican Republic, both with 5-1 records, have all but secured the top two spots with one day remaining at the Olympic qualification tournament.

Canada is in fourth place in Pool A with 11 points, trailing Serbia and Dominican Republic by four points each. Only the top two teams in the pool qualify — and Canada can only pick up a maximum of three points in their final game against Czechia on Sunday.

"We did what we needed to do to come out on top today against Mexico," said Canada coach Shannon Winzer. "Every team has a difficult schedule with seven games in nine days, but I would argue this is the toughest pool across these Olympic qualifiers so being able to pull out a three-set win today was not easy and we were able to get the job done. Sometimes that just has to be enough.”

Serbia beat the Netherlands 3-0 on Saturday, while the Dominican Republic topped China 3-1.

The Netherlands, also at 4-2 but one point ahead of Canada, will face the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

Six teams from the qualifying tournament will join host France at next year's Olympics.

Five more countries can earn berths next summer through world rankings, meaning Canada can still qualify for Paris with a successful Volleyball Nations League season.

Canada currently sits 11th in the FIVB world rankings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press