Canada have been the surprise team in men's volleyball at Rio 2016
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 17, 2016 – The men’s volleyball quarterfinal phase of Rio 2016 Olympic Games take place on Wednesday at Maracanazinho in what is expected to be a display of powerful serves and electrifying spikes that are characteristic of the modern game.
Canada, the surprise team among the quarterfinalists, square off against Olympic defending champions Russia in the first match of the knock-out round. Canada’s three victories in pool play included matches against United States and Italy. Russia’s only loss in preliminary was against Argentina.
The second contest of the day features world cup title-holders United States against world champions Poland. After going down in their first two appearances in preliminary play, the United States bounced back to claim three wins in a row and a berth in the round of eight. On the other hand, Poland handed Argentina their only defeat in pool play and lost in five-sets to Russia.
Pool A winners Italy, a team still seeking for their first gold medal in Olympic history, will play debutants Iran in the third match of the day. Italy saw their undefeated record being snapped by Canada on the last day of the preliminary round. Iran, the only team in the quarterfinals with a win-loss record below .500, lost one of their matches to Poland in five well fought sets.
A classic South American battle is reserved for the fourth and last match of Wednesday as Pool B winners Argentina go against hosts Brazil. Argentina captured the pole position with a better set-ratio than Canada and more points gained from the matches than Russia. A hesitant Brazil lost to United States and Italy in pool play but recovered to beat France when it mattered most last Monday.