Canada’s Julie Kozun racked up points for her team, but it wouldn’t be enough to push the Canadians into the gold medal game in women’s sitting volleyball.
The semifinal match saw China sweep Canada in three straight sets.
Although the Canadians won’t be at the top of the podium, they still have a chance at a medal as they move on to the bronze medal game against a tough opponent — Brazil.
“If you told me we would be playing for a medal after just squeezing in with our last-chance qualifier last year (in February 2020), I don’t think I would have believed you,” said team captain Danielle Ellis.
The Canadians came into Tokyo as the number five team in the world and have shown vast improvement since their seventh-overall finish in Rio in 2016.
“This team has shown immense growth in the last two years and we’re ready to compete for a medal,” Ellis said.
Canada put up a hard fight against the number two-ranked Chinese, but ultimately couldn’t come away with a single set and the match was done in just over an hour.
Top attackers Ellis and Heidi Peters continually pumped the ball back at China, but each of them only achieved success in five of their attacks.
On the defensive side, Canada’s blocking could also have used some work, with only four of their attempts shutting down the Chinese.
The Chinese will take on No. 1-ranked Team USA in the gold medal game in a rematch of the 2016 final, in which the Americans took home first place.
While the Canadians may not have been successful in their match against China, the tournament has surely helped to put international eyes on them.
This is the furthest that the women’s sitting volleyball team has ever made it in the Paralympics since the sport’s induction into the Games in 1980.
The Canadians weren’t the favourite to win the tournament, or even expected to make it this far, but as the final Canadian team at the Paralympics they have made an impression.
After two consecutive wins in the tournament, defeating Italy and Japan, Canada then dueled it out with Brazil, the defending bronze medalists.
In an almost three-hour long match, Canada ultimately lost to Brazil in the preliminaries.
Canada will rematch Brazil for the bronze medal on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. JST, 3:30 a.m. EST.