Canadian women earn spot in Olympic volleyball qualifier after reaching semis at NORCECA event
Canada defeats Mexico 3-1 to clinch berth in January tournament
Canada's women's volleyball team took a necessary step towards Tokyo 2020 on Saturday.
The Canadians defeated Mexico 3-1 (25-20, 29-31, 25-17, 25-20) to reach the semifinals of the NORCECA Continental Championship. More importantly, the win clinched a spot in January's Olympic qualifying tournament.
Canada next plays the undefeated U.S. at 6 p.m. ET in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The win against Mexico featured the longest set of the tournament, which Canada lost 31-29. However, the Canadians quickly rebounded, led by Kiera Van Ryk, who scored 28 points in the victory.
"I'm excited, definitely a first goal was making sure to be in January's event and I am proud of our performance," said the 20-year-old Van Ryk of Surrey, B.C. "It will be a good game facing United States, personally I haven't played against their A team and for sure it will be a tough battle."
Calgary's Alexa Gray added 24 points on 21 kills, two blocks and one ace and Emily Maglio, of Coquitlam, B.C., collected 11 points.
The other semifinal features Puerto Rico vs. the Dominican Republic.