Dominican Republic downs Canada in Nations League women's volleyball

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RIMINI, Italy — The Canadian women's volleyball team fell to 0-3 at the 2021 Nations League after losing 3-1 (25-17, 26-24, 28-30, 25-16) to the Dominican Republic on Thursday.

For the third match in a row Kiera Van Ryk of Surrey, B.C., led Canada's offence, but her game-high 25 attack points weren't enough to give Canada its first victory.

Canada remained 15th in the preliminary-round standings after the loss, while the Dominical Republic rose to 11th with its first win at the event.

Canada next faces Turkey on Monday.

The annual international men's and women's competition featuring the world's top 16 teams in each gender was cancelled in 2020 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian men's and women's squads will each play a 15-match preliminary round until June 23.

The top four countries advance to the semifinals and finals.

The world governing body of volleyball, FIVB, says the competition will operate with COVID-19 countermeasures to "reduce the risk of virus transmission, including frequent testing, strict health and hygiene measures and an array of risk-mitigation protocols."

The Canadian men, ranked No. 10 in the world, have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics starting July 23. Nations League is important preparation for them after a year of no matches as a team.

The Canadian men open with three matches in three days starting Friday against No. 3 United States, No. 5 Argentina and No. 1 Brazil.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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