Volleyball

Canada falls to Italy in opening match at men's volleyball world championship

It's been said that close only counts in horseshoes and drive-in movies, but Canada gave Italy a good run in the opening match of the men's volleyball world championship on Saturday in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Reigning European champs sweep Canada 3-0 to kick off preliminary play

Canada's Ryley Brendan Barnes (17) spikes the ball against Italy's Simone Giannelli (6), Roberto Russo (19), Yuri Romano (16) and Alessandro Michieletto (5) during Italy's 25-13, 25-18, 39-37 victory in their Pool E match on Saturday at the men's volleyball worlds in Ljubljana, Slovenia. (Jure Makovec/ The Associated Press via Getty Images)

It's been said that close only counts in horseshoes and drive-in movies, but Canada gave Italy a good run in the opening match of the men's volleyball world championship on Saturday in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Italy defeated Canada in the best-of-five match 25-13, 25-18, 39-37 in Pool E preliminary play.

The reigning European champion Italy had a definite advantage in blocking against Canada, producing 14 blocking points compared to Canada's four.

Outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto, who dominated the match for Italy, said Canada was tougher than the scores indicated.

"Canada played really well in the third set," said Michieletto. "We had some difficulties with their serves and we didn't serve well on our side. But we're happy that we managed to win and start the tournament well."

Ryan Sclater was the only Canadian to reach double digits in the match, tallying 12 points (11 kills, one ace).

WATCH | Italy tops Canada:

FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championships: Italy vs Canada

3 months ago
Duration 1:55:07
Watch Canada battle Italy at the 2022 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Canada is in a four-team pool with Turkey, China and Italy. Turkey defeated China earlier in the day 25-15, 25-19, 25-14.

Canada's next match is Monday against China. Canada will play Turkey on Wednesday.

There are 24 countries competing in the competition, which runs until Sept. 11.

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