Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - What a way to end the second competition day of the men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games! First day sensation Canada will measure up to powerful hosts Brazil in front of the packed stands at the Maracanazinho. Both teams started their Pool A campaigns with victories, but one of them will have to get off the winning track on Tuesday.
Brazil surprisingly allowed Olympic rookie Mexico win the first set between the two teams on Sunday, but managed to come back for a 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-18) win on the wings of Wallace de Souza’s 18 and Ricardo Lucarelli’s 17 points and a team total of 9 aces.
“Our intention was to play better but our serves were not effective in the first set and this is an important weapon in today’s volleyball,” commented Brazil’s coach Bernardo Rezende. “Now our focus is on Canada, a great team that can play with the best in the world.”
Later on, the Canadians proved Rezende’s words true by shutting out their strong North American neighbours from the United States. Nicholas Hoag and Gavin Schmitt contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively, towards the impressive 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-23) victory.
“For me the motivation is this right here,” Schmitt said pointing to the Canadian flag on his jersey. “We are here to represent Canada and we all want to represent our country well. We want to prove that we can compete with anybody and we can beat anybody.”
The last time Brazil and Canada met in a world-level competition was at the FIVB Volleyball World Championship Poland 2014. On September 13, 2014, in Katowice, the South Americans mastered a 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 29-27) victory over their North American opponents.