Last Rio spots are up for grabs at Tokyo tourney CBC Sports Posted: May 29, 2016 Canada, seen here at a match against Poland earlier in the day, dropped a round-robin match to Iran at an Olympic qualifier on Saturday in Volleyball, falling to 0-2 in the tournament. (Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
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The Canadian men's volleyball team suffered their second loss in heart-breaking fashion on Sunday at the World Olympic Qualification tournament in Tokyo. Canada took a 2-0 set lead before losing the next three sets (27-29, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 16-14).
"We didn't exactly execute what we wanted to do and they played well – Iran made some key defensive moves at key times, and then they transitioned well out of it," Canada's captain Rudy Verhoeff said. "I think we picked up a few balls on defence and didn't make a direct point after, but that's what they were doing. "In the end it came down to a few points."
It's the second five-set loss Canada has taken in as many matches at the tourney, losing to No. 2-ranked Poland on Saturday. "The Iranian team played really well in the last three sets of the match," Canada coach Glenn Hoag said. "We knew it was going to be a difficult match given that we had five sets yesterday [with Poland] – we lost a bit of our freshness after the first two hard-fought sets today. "They made come key substitutions that really helped them get back into the game, but we have to move forward now and focus on the next round, which will be difficult with three matches [in three days]." Canada's Gavin Schmitt topped all scorers with 27 points, while teammate Nick Hoag had 14. Canada has the day off on Monday before continuing round robin play against Australia on Tuesday. Four Olympic spots are available with one reserved for the top Asian finisher in the competition. The other teams are from Asia, South America and Europe. Canada must finish in the top three to guarantee an Olympic berth. --- --- ...